- Brown (1986)
- The aim of the study was to investigate whether the presence of social support and self esteem afffected the likelihood of someone developing depression after a serious life event.
- The method of the study was; in the first study 400 women refered by their GP's were interviewed to establish levels of self esteem and social support. 50 of these women were not used because they already showed signs of depression. In the second study which took place a year later 353 of the original samle were reinterviewed and the same variables were looked at, as well as if they experienced a stressful life event and what support they had during it.
- The results of the study were that 91% of participants who had depression in the second study had experienced a stressful life event, low self esteem didn't make women more vulnerable unless they had the stressful life event, and it would be less likely to happen if they had a husband or partner for support.
- The conclusions of the study was that low self esteem and lack of social support makes depression more likely after a serious life event, but there was no evidence that either factor lead directly to depression.
- The Strengths of the study were that at both sets of interviews the data gathered was detailed and in depth, using a semi strunctured interviews it was valid. There was inter rater reliability and no bias int eh selction process because they were chosen at random.
- The weaknesses of the study were that reductionism had occured, the detailed qualitative data originally gathered was reduced into quantitiative data, in the process some of its meaning would have beeen lost, therefore loosing validity. Also, the results may not be generalisable to everyone as the women were from one area of north london and had a husband/partner and a child, and not everyone is in this circumstance. gender bias was also present as no men were invovled in the study.