Self-Identity and Specific Vulnerability to Depressed Mood


  • Studies 1,3, and 4 were completed under the supervision of Darwyn E. Linder as part of a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree at Arizona State University. Study 3 was supported by an Arizona State University Mini-Grant awarded to Darwyn E. Linder. The author extends gratitude to Jennifer Campbell, Darwyn Linder, Paul Karoly, Carol Nemeroff, Norris Vestre, and Judy Van Raalte, who made helpful comments on drafts of this manuscript. Mark Andersen, Jackson Brewer, Bob Foster, Karla Kubitz, Steve Petruzzello, Craig Phelps, Caroline Probst, Dean Ryan, and Sam Young are gratefully acknowledged for their assistance in data collection. The author thanks Amanda Daley, Joanne Daly, Jill Phillips, and Trisha Rivera for their efforts in data entry. Gratitude is also extended to George Knight and Stephen West for their statistical consultation.

Address correspondence to Britton W. Brewer, Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109.


ABSTRACT Four studies were conducted to test the hypothesis that experiencing a life event that disrupts the pursuit of self-defining activities would be associated with depressed mood. Across all four studies, a strong and exclusive identification with the athlete role was related to subjects' affective response to both hypothetical and actual athletic injuries. The results highlight the importance of assessing the match between specific cognitive diatheses and specific life events in predicting depressive reactions.