Negative Reactions to Depressive Behaviors: A Communication Theories Analysis

Chris Segrin, Lyn Y. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Interpersonal aspects of depression have received considerable research attention in the past 2 decades. This work often has been guided by J.C. Coyne's (1976b) interactional model of depression or P.M. Lewinsohn's (1974) social skill deficit theory of depression. A review of this research indicates that depressed people reliably experience rejection from those in their social environment and that depression generally is associated with impairments in social behavior. However, this research does not explain exactly what depressed people do to elicit rejection, or exactly why others react negatively to them. Research derived from communication theories on responsiveness, politeness, and expectations for nonverbal involvement illuminates that interpersonal cycle in depression. The role of these impairments in the cause, symptoms, course, subtypes, and therapy of depression is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-668
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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