We examine how depression relates to two broad affective dispositions which we call Negative Temperament and Positive Temperament. Depressed individuals characteristically display a particular combination of these traits (high Negative/low Positive Temperament), which also defines the traditional melancholic type. Other evidence, however, suggests that this pattern is not unique to depression, but may also characterize other types of disorder: high Negative Temperament, in particular, appears to be nonsignificantly associated with distress-based psychopathology. Finally, we review data indicating that the etiology of these relations is highly complex. Specifically, it appears that (i) temperament influences the development and course of depression; (ii) depressive episodes can lead to significant changes in temperament, some of which may be permanent; and (iii) temperament and depression may reflect, in part, a common genetic diathesis.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lee_anna_clark/5/