Depression, interpersonal standard setting, and judgments of self-efficacy

The present study investigated the relationship between standard setting and judgments of self-efficacy in the domain of interpersonal functioning for depressed and nondepressed subjects.  Consistent with a self-control model of depression, a large discrepancy between personal standards and judgments of personal efficacy for performance was postulated to be related to depression.  Students who scored above 13 on two administrations of the Beck Depression Inventory composed the depressed group.  Thirty-nine depressed and 39 nondepressed students rated their minimal standards for adequate interpersonal performance, its importance to them, and their judgments of self-efficacy for the same tasks.  Depressed subjects showed a larger discrepancy between strength of interpersonal standards and strength of self-efficacy than did the normal subjects.  Depressed subjects expressed a lower strength of self-efficacy than did nondepressed subjects, but they did not differ on their interpersonal standards.  Importance and the strength for standards correlated positively for both depressed and normal subjects.  The present findings are consistent with recent extensions of Lewinsohn’s model of depression, which suggest that disruptions in self-evaluation are related to lowered judgments of self-efficacy for depressed subjects.