Expressive characteristics of anxiety in depressed men and women

Martin M. Katz, Scott Wetzler, Marylene Cloitre, Alan Swann, Steven Secunda, Joe Mendels, Eli Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study was aimed at identifying the expressive, movement, and social behaviors associated with anxiety in the syndrome of major depression. The sample consisted of 97 hospitalized male and female depressed patients. Expressive and social behaviors were evaluated prior to treatment in a structured videotaped interview. Anxiety was measured using a multi-vantaged approach including doctor's rating, nurse's rating, patient self-report, and a separate video rating. Results indicate that anxiety was significantly associated with agitation, distressed facial expression, bodily discomfort, and poor social interaction in both sexes. Men and women differed in certain respects: anxiety was highly related to motor retardation in women only, and to hostility in men only. Differences in the pattern of expressive behavior between high and low anxious, depressed patients were clearly significant, and several were large enough to serve as clinical indicators. These findings help to characterize the expressive features of anxiety in the context of severe depression, and add to the growing literature on sex differences in depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1993


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Expressive behavior
  • Video methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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