Sociotropy, autonomy, stress, and depression in Cushing syndrome

Ellen Burgess, Lorah D. Dorn, David A F Haaga, George Chrousos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cognitive theory ascribes nonendogenous depression to latent dysfunctional beliefs activated by stressors impinging upon core values (e.g., rejection for a sociotropic person). To address ambiguities in past tests of the theory, this study measured personality (Sociotropy-Autonomy Scale) and recent stressors (Life Experience Survey and Hassles Scale) among 14 Cushing syndrome patients and 12 controls. Patients scored nonsignificantly higher in sociotropy, and sociotropy correlated positively with depression among patients. Because depression in Cushing syndrome presumably results from biological dysfunction rather than from the interaction of personality and relevant stressors, these results imply that sociotropy may be a consequence of depression as opposed to a contributory cause. There was no congruence between personality and types of stressors reported, which suggests that mood-dependent recall does not account for past evidence of congruence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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