Background. Although the ‘high interpersonal sensitivity’ type of personality has repeatedly been
shown to be related to depression by case–control studies, no studies have confirmed whether this
association also exists in a non-clinical sample.
Methods. Scores on the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM) were compared between
employed Japanese adults with and without a lifetime diagnosis of major depressive disorder. The
diagnosis was provided by the Inventory to Diagnose Depression, Lifetime version. A multiple
logistic regression analysis estimated the odds ratios for having a lifetime diagnosis of depression.
Results. The scores on the IPSM were higher in the subjects with a lifetime history of depression
than those without a lifetime history of depression. On the five subscales of the IPSM, the subjects
with a lifetime history of depression showed higher scores on ‘interpersonal awareness’, ‘need for
approval’, and ‘separation anxiety’ than those without a lifetime history of depression. The
multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the subjects with the high interpersonal sensitivity
type of personality had an increased risk for experiencing lifetime depression.
Conclusions. The results suggest that high interpersonal sensitivity is a risk factor for depression
even in a non-clinical sample from non-Western culture.