: Previously unpublished analyses from two longitudinal inquiries are presented that use a contextual approach to rating the meaning of life events based on intensive semistructured interviews. The studies concern the longstanding question of specific versus general susceptibility in disease causation. The first study is based on a general population sample of 400 women and deals with the specificity of meaning of events provoking clinical depression and anxiety disorders. The second is based on a study of 127 depressed women contacting psychiatric services in North London and deals with the role of positive events in recovery. Each of the studies replicate a prior one and confirm the importance of considering specific meaning. The first study demonstrates that loss is important in provoking depression, danger for anxiety, and danger and loss for the onset of mixed depressive and anxiety disorders. The second study suggests that positive events involving hope are particularly important for recovery in depression.
Copyright (C) 1993 by American Psychosomatic Society