Major Depressive Disorder in Persons Exposed to Trauma: Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Social Support

Laura E. Kwako, Sarah J. Szanton, Leorey N. Saligan, Jessica M. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Traumatic events are often linked to the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) and for the increase of nonremittance of symptoms; however, psychological factors that contribute to the relationship between trauma and chronic depression are not well defined. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine if emotional intelligence (EI) and social support differ in traumatized depressed patients when compared with controls. METHOD: The present study examines two psychosocial factors that may contribute to this link: EI and social support. Participants who experienced a trauma and had current MDD (n = 38) were compared with nontraumatized healthy controls (n = 40). RESULTS: Traumatized depressed participants exhibited lower total EI, because of reductions in strategic EI ability, as well as lower levels of social support compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: EI and social support were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that EI may be a novel target for intervention to prevent and treat MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • depression
  • emotional intelligence
  • social support
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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