Depression and self-focused language in structured interviews with older men

William Jarrold, Harold S. Javitz, Ruth Krasnow, Bart Peintner, Eric Yeh, Gary E. Swan, Matthias Mehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The association between depression and self-focused language has been found to varying extents across studies. The presence or absence of the association may depend on the communicative context. Based on Beck's depression model, a broad, evaluative self-focused question was predicted more likely to elicit a stronger association than a full interview containing a more heterogeneous question set of items. The spontaneous speech obtained during structured interviews of 26 depressed and nondepressed older men, an as-yet little studied population, was analyzed. Results were consistent with the hypothesis that association between self-focused language and depression was demonstrated in the target question but not across the entire interview. The results may explain some of the aforementioned discrepancies in prior studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-700
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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