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Personal construct theory and repertory grid methodology were applied to a study of psychological change experienced by a sample of ten neurotic depressives and their matched controls during short-term hospitalization. All subjects completed a repertory grid and the Zung depression scale on admission to hospital. Depressives were characterized by lower self-esteem, more negative social perception and higher scores on the Zung scale. Both measures were repeated at the time of discharge from hospital. Depressives showed a significant reduction in depressive mood, more positive social perception, and a change in th construing of the self; controls showed no changes. It is argued that the use of a quantitative assessment technique reinforced by a theoretical framework results in a more refined understanding of psychological change.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





47 - 51


Adult, Aged, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Psychological Theory, Self Concept, Social Perception