Right-Wing Authoritarianism: Protective Factor Against or Risk Factor for Depression?
Article first published online: 20 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 26, Issue 5, pages 536–549, September/October 2012
How to Cite
Duriez, B., Klimstra, T. A., Luyckx, K., Beyers, W. and Soenens, B. (2012), Right-Wing Authoritarianism: Protective Factor Against or Risk Factor for Depression?. Eur. J. Pers., 26: 536–549. doi: 10.1002/per.853
- Issue published online: 18 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 26 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 9 JUN 2011
- Fund for Scientific Research (FWO)
- life events;
Because the authoritarian personality was introduced to explain the rise of fascism during World War II, research focused on its ability to predict prejudice, leaving its associations with well-being largely unexplored. Studies that did examine these associations yielded inconsistent results, and some authors even argued that authoritarianism buffers against the negative effects of psychological vulnerability factors (i.e. D-type personality) and negative life events on well-being, especially among people in an authoritarian environment. Using a cross-sectional community sample (N = 1010), Study 1 failed to support the idea that authoritarianism relates to depressive symptoms and buffers against the negative effects of D-type personality on depressive symptoms. Using a longitudinal college student sample (N = 499), Study 2 showed that authoritarianism did not moderate the effects of life events either and even predicted over-time increases in depressive symptoms. Using a longitudinal high school sample (N = 590), Study 3 showed that this effect emerged regardless of degree of fit with the social environment (i.e. with family and friends). Taken together, results suggest that authoritarianism constitutes a risk factor for rather than a protective factor against depressive symptoms. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.