The Precipitating Event in Depression Some Methodological Considerations

Renato D. Alarcon, Lino Covi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A review of the literature concerning the occurrence of significant life events and the appearance of physical, psychosomatic, and psychiatric disorders is presented. Research efforts have recently been aimed at clarifying the relationship between stressful events and depression. However, a number of methodological problems still make the results of those efforts appear doubtful, inconsistent, or confusing. Such problem areas are the representativeness of the patient sample, control groups, reporting agents, number and “meaning” of the events, and statistical methods. The relevance of this field of research is emphasized and suggestions toward a feasible research design are made. The importance of life events for different psychotherapeutic orientations is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-391
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1972

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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