Romantic relationship separation: An experimental model to review ramifications of strain on anxiety (-like) symptoms

Romantic relationship separation: An experimental model to review ramifications of strain on anxiety (-like) symptoms

The occurrence of a stressful event is considered to increase the risk of developing depression. In the present study we explore whether the breakup of a romantic relationship can be used as an experimental model to study a depression-like state during a period of stress in individuals without a psychiatric disorder. The primary aim of our study was to investigate: 1) whether individuals with a recent romantic relationship breakup (‘‘heartbreak”) demonstrate symptoms of depression, 2) how to describe heartbreak characteristics based on data from a comprehensive questionnaire battery, and 3) whether this description can capture severity of depression symptoms. Secondary, we were interested in gender differences with regard to the above study objectives. Subjects who have experienced a relationship breakup in the preceding six months (N = 71) or are in a romantic relationship (N = 46) participated in our study. A questionnaire battery was administered to acquire information related to depression, mood, the breakup and (former) relationship. Principal Component Analysis with Procrustes bootstrapping was performed to extract components from the questionnaire data. Even though our sample of individuals who recently have experienced a relationship breakup can be on average considered non-depressed, group-level depression scores were elevated compared to individuals in a relationship (p = .001) and 26.8% reported symptoms corresponding to mild, moderate or severe depression. We described heartbreak by two principal components interpreted as ‘‘sudden loss” and ‘‘lack of positive affect”, respectively. Highly significant correlations between the component scores and depression scores were found (p < .001 and p < .001, respectively), although these correlations differed between the genders. Based on these findings, we propose that the experience of a romantic relationship breakup is a viable experimental model to examine symptoms of depression in individuals without a psychiatric disorder. This way, stress-related coping and depression vulnerability can be studied in further research.

Citation: Verhallen Am, Renken RJ, ) Romantic relationship break up: An experimental design to examine negative effects of strain on depression (-like) symptoms. PLoS You to 14(5): e0217320.

Copyright: © 2019 Verhallen et al. This is an open access blog post delivered beneath the terms of the newest Imaginative Commons Attribution Permit, hence it permits unrestricted use, shipping, and breeding in almost any typical, offered the original journalist and supply try credited.

Connection break up: An experimental design to examine negative effects of strain on depression (-like) attacks

Analysis Availableness: The knowledge will not be stored during the a community repository due so you’re able to constraints throughout the informed agree (victims haven’t provided accept to enjoys its study in public places kept) and you will European studies confidentiality laws (GDPR). The content are available into the demand. A data availableness panel could have been set up, consisting of Prof Grams.J. ter Horst (Dominant Investigator of investigation), J.B.C. Marsman and you will Prof A beneficial. Aleman (lead of your Intellectual Neuroscience Cardio), that will remark desires and you may assure accessibility of studies. It accessibility panel should be achieved thru

Funding: The analysis try funded by the a contribution away from Mr Hazewinkel so you’re able to the research College regarding Behavioral and you will Intellectual Neurosciences and you will Prof Grams.J. ter Horst. Mr Hazewinkel had no character into the studies construction, research range and you will research, choice to share, otherwise preparing of one’s manuscript.


Stressful life-occurrences are thought to-be risk circumstances to the growth of depression. Kendler mais aussi al. examined the newest interplay anywhere between exhausting incidents, hereditary predisposition and you will despair one of people twins and found that each other heredity and density out of stressful occurrences resulted in the fresh new onset of depressive episodes on their own. Especially incidents with a high effect, such loss of a close family member and you may divorce proceedings, elevated the possibilities of development an excellent depressive event, while the most people do not generate a depressive event following the contact with an upsetting experience. And that, research focusing on stressful and mentally upsetting occurrences offers valuable knowledge toward private variations away from be concerned-relevant coping therefore the link between worry and anxiety.

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