Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 188–195 | Cite as

Excessive Reassurance Seeking as a Mediator of Sociotropy and Negative Interpersonal Life Events

  • Denis G. Birgenheir
  • Carolyn M. Pepper
  • Michael Johns
Original Article


The Interpersonal Theory of Depression suggests that depressed individuals have behavioral patterns that alienate people in their environment, thereby reducing social support and maintaining their depression. Excessive reassurance seeking has been implicated as such a behavior. A model was tested in which excessive reassurance seeking mediates the relationships between sociotropy and increases in negative interpersonal life events as well as sociotropy and depressive symptoms. Participants consisted of 110 undergraduate students. Measures were given at two time points 6 weeks apart assessing sociotropy, excessive reassurance seeking, negative interpersonal life events, and depressive symptoms. Results suggested that excessive reassurance seeking mediated the predicted relationship between sociotropy and negative interpersonal life events, but did not mediate the relationship between sociotropy and depressive symptoms. The implications for these findings in the interactional nature of depression are discussed.


Sociotropy Reassurance seeking Life events Depressive symptoms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis G. Birgenheir
    • 1
  • Carolyn M. Pepper
    • 1
  • Michael Johns
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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