Development of men's depressive symptoms: A systematic review of prospective cohort studies

Brett SCHOLZ, Shona Crabb, Gary Wittert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depression is common in men, but research on the topic remains limited. This article aims to synthesize and assess published evidence about the development of depressive symptoms in men and provide an account of current findings. Methods: Medline, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Scopus were searched for prospective, observational cohort studies containing a measure of depression as an outcome variable. Studies included were those with a focus on incident depression or change in depressive symptoms. Each article was critically appraised for methodological quality. Seventy-three articles were included in the final review. Results: Factors consistently associated with increased depressive symptoms across studies were low marital satisfaction, poor overall health, being HIV-positive, clinically defined insomnia, stressful occupational events, and history of panic attacks. Conclusions: There are a number of complex factors that influence the development of depression in men. Taken together, these data support the interaction of multiple stressors and an underlying vulnerability in the development of depression. The variability among the included studies, especially in regard to period of follow-up and assessment of depressive symptoms, highlights the necessity for further longitudinal cohort studies examining depression in men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Men's Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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