Social skills deficits are common among depressed patients, but little attention has been paid to this aspect of depression. In this review, the potential roles of different depressive factors contributing to poor social skills are examined. Specifically, the first part of the analysis is focused on how different depressive factors influence the three components of social behavior: perceptual, cognitive, and performance. In the second part, evidence is provided to support the proposition that social skills deficits are manifestations of state depressive factors. This is based on results from studies involving mood induction procedures, countermanipulation procedures, and treatment with antidepressant drugs. These deficits are therefore likely to remit with effective treatment.
*Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; and †National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom.
Send reprint requests to Dr. Wai S. Tse, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Ave., Hong Kong.