A structural equation model of depression and the defense system factors: A survey among Chinese college students

Jue Jin, Yi Yuan Tang, Yinghua Ma, Shipin Lv, Ying Bai, Hangli Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Questionnaires were administered to a large sample of subjects (1363 Chinese college students), to evaluate the mediating risk factors in the defense system of depression, including personality, coping skills, interpersonal context and family environment. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze a total of 12 variables in order to understand how they interact with each other. Eysenck's Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Psychoticism personality types act as the essential parts of the model, both directly and indirectly impacting depression. Coping styles are the mediators that regulate the effects of personality and family environment on depression. Family environment has only indirect effects through personality and positive coping style. Interpersonal context may not have had a significant correlation with depression, but was influenced by family environment and had a correlation with positive coping style. According to the results, therapies based on personality adjustment, family environment and coping styles of college students are greatly recommended among college students in order to lessen the chances of or to prevent depression. The present results may advance our understanding of depression etiology in young Chinese adults and provide suggestions of factors that should be taken into account in the evaluation, treatment and even the prevention of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Coping styles
  • Depression
  • Family environment
  • Interpersonal context
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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