Verbal indicators of depression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Speech content, voice quality, and temporal pacing of speech were evaluated for 11 well and 11 depressed women. Sadness was the dominant mood of the depressed women's speech, whereas happiness and mood neutrality characterized the well women's speech. The well women's tone of voice changed with the content of their speech. The well women spoke with a wide range of fundamental frequency, and the average fundamental frequency of their voices changed according to speech content. In contrast, the depressed women spoke with a narrow range of fundamental frequency, and the average fundamental frequency of their speech was unaffected by speech content. The depressed women spoke with longer pauses than the well women did. The results of this study contribute to the understanding of measures for assessing depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD; by the John D. and Catherine T. MaArthur Foundarion research net- work award on the transitionf rom infancy to early childhood, Chicago, IL: and by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Gender Studies


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