Depression and codependency in women

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1998 Dec;12(6):326-34. doi: 10.1016/s0883-9417(98)80046-0.


Seven million American women are depressed, and 40 million Americans, primarily women, have been labeled as codependent. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of codependency in women undergoing treatment for depression, examine the relationship between codependency and depression, and determine which of the symptoms of codependency are most highly predictive of depression scores. Depression and codependency were measured in a sample of 105 depressed women by using the Beck Depression Inventory and the Codependency Assessment Tool. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's Product Moment Correlation, and multiple regression were used for analysis. Of these depressed women, 36% were moderately to severely codependent. Depression and codependency were strongly related, with the significant gamma = .92 (P < .001). Of the codependency subscales, Low Self-Worth and Hiding Self correlate most strongly with depression; Other Focus/Self-Neglect added the least-independent--explanatory power. Thus, future research should be directed toward the relationship of codependency to power, alienation of self, and personality disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Codependency, Psychological*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / psychology*