Depression has been established as a common reaction to rheumatoid arthritis but has rarely been investigated among people with other forms of arthritis. The present study examined the prevalence and determinants of depressive symptoms in people with ankylosing spondylitis, focusing on gender differences and set in the context of widely held medical views concerning the psychosocial nature of ankylosing spondylitis patients. Results showed that approximately one third of the ankylosing spondylitis patients reported a high level of depressive symptoms and that women reported more depression than men. No evidence was found to support the stereotype of the "typical" ankylosing spondylitis patient as being less depressed than people with other forms of arthritis. Pain was found to be a major determinant of depression for women, but was of lesser importance for men. The implications of these findings are discussed.