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Keywords:

  • Depression;
  • social environment;
  • discriminant analysis.

Abstract A set of variables from the social environment (e.g. social contacts, confiding relationships, leisure activities, loneliness) was used to differentiate between a consecutive series of 111 patients diagnosed as having a depressive illness and a sample of 98 non-psychiatric controls. The function derived from the discriminant analysis correctly classified 83 % of the subjects. The results indicate shortcomings in the social environment of depressives and point to the discriminating power of such variables.