Promoting Social Relationship and Interpersonal Problems among Women with Major Depressive Disorder: A Social-Communication Skills Training

A social-communication skills training

Social relationships Social problems Depressive disorder Social communication


  • Zahra Amani Department of Psychology, Sirjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sirjan, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Maryam Namvar Department of Clinical Psychology, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Marym Javanbakht Department of Clinical Psychology, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Rezvaneh Kozegaran Department of Psychology, School of Humanities and Literature, Payame Noor University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Parya Jamali
    Department of Clinical Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
April 18, 2023
October 7, 2023


Background: The difficulties with social interaction are observed in major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to examine the effect of social-communication skills training on social relationships and interpersonal problems among women with MDD.

Methods: In this semi-experimental study with a pre-test and post-test design and control group, the statistical population of the study was composed of patients suffering from major depression referred to Tehran Psychiatric Institute, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Tehran City, Iran, from September 2022 to March 2023. The sample was selected purposefully and randomly divided into the social skills training (SST) group (n = 28) and the control group (n = 29) by tossing. The training protocol was held weekly in 8 1-hour sessions for two months. The tools completed in the pre-test and post-test were Relationship Scales Questionnaire (RSQ) and Barkham et al.'s Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP). The data were analyzed using the multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) method via SPSS software.

Results: There were significant differences between the groups in terms of social relationships (F = 26.43, P = 0.001, η = 0.68) and interpersonal problems (F = 24.19, P = 0.001, η = 0.63).

Conclusion: These features seem to persist even in remission, although some may respond to intervention. Further research is required in this area to better understand the functional impact of these findings and how targeted therapy could aid depressed individuals with social interactions.

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