Zavos, HMS, Dalton, B, Jayaweera, K, Harber-Aschan, L, Pannala, G, Adikari, A, hatch, SL, Siribaddana, S, Sumathipala, A ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8706-2698, Hotopf, M and Rijsdijk, FV (2019) The relationship between independent and dependent life events and depression symptoms in Sri Lanka: a twin and singleton study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

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Abstract

Purpose
Life events have been associated with a variety of mental health conditions including depression. There is a scarcity of research in South Asia exploring the aetiology of independent and dependent life events and their relationship with depression symptoms. This study aimed, in a Sri Lankan population, to identify the socio-demographic correlates and genetic and environmental influences on independent and dependent life events and their relationship with depression.

Methods
Questionnaire data came from the Colombo Twin and Singleton Follow-up Study, CoTaSS-2 (N=3969), a population study of Sri Lankan twins and singletons. Lifetime-ever independent and dependent life events were measured using a questionnaire and depressive symptoms using the Revised Beck’s Depression Inventory. Structural Equation Model-fitting analyses explored the genetic and environmental influences on life events and depression.

Results
Living in a rural environment and financial hardship were associated with greater reporting of independent and dependent life events. Sex differences were evident in the aetiology of life events and depression symptoms. Independent and dependent life events, but not depression symptoms, were heritable in males. Independent life events and depression symptoms, but not dependent life events, were heritable in females. Non-shared environmental influences explained phenotypic associations between independent life events and depression symptoms in both males and females. Genetic and non-shared environmental influences explained the phenotypic associations between dependent life events and depression symptoms in males. Only non-shared environment explained the covariation between dependent life events and depression symptoms in females.

Conclusions
Socio-demographic correlates of independent and dependent life events were similar to those reported in Western populations. Life events were associated with increased depression symptoms. Contrary to research in Western populations, we found that non-shared environmental, rather than genetic, influences explained much of the covariation between life events and depression symptoms. This suggests that whilst independent LEs may be heritable, the relationship is unlikely to be confounded by genetic influences and has significant implications for possible interventions for depression.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Springer at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-019-01765-z - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Primary, Community and Social Care
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2019 13:20
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6717

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