Depressive personality vulnerability in chronic physical pain: Centrality of sociotropy Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Chronic physical pain is one of modern medicine's principal challenges. Recently, there has been a keen research interest in the role of Depressive Personality Vulnerability (DPV) in the course of chronic pain. Objective: This is the first attempt to examine the role of three leading DPV dimensions - sociotropy, autonomy, and self-criticism - in chronic pain. Method: Chronic pain patients (N = 428) were assessed four times as to their pain, disability, anxious-depression, and pain-based catastrophizing. At Time 1, sociotropy, autonomy, and self-criticism were also assessed. The effects of sociotropy, autonomy, and self-criticism on pain, disability, anxious-depression, and pain-based catastrophizing was examined using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analyses. Results: All DPV dimensions uniquely predicted Time 1, but not Time 2, anxious-depression. Sociotropy predicted Time 1 pain and catastrophizing over and above anxious-depression, as well as an increase in catastrophizing over time. Autonomy predicted a decrease in catastrophizing and disability, and Time 1 anxious-depression predicted an increase in self-criticism. Conclusions: DPV, particularly sociotropy, appear to be a unique dimension of DPV in chronic pain. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 5, 2018