As I expect to be talking on the radio this Friday morning (RTE Radio 1, John Murray show) about handedness, one of my research interests, it seems a good excuse to highlight papers from my back-catalogue that predate this blog. This paper was published in Laterality in 2008. An ungated version is here.
Handedness and depression: evidence from a large population survey.
There is a considerable body of research arguing for an association between
psychotic disorders and atypical brain lateralisation*where non-right-handedness
is usually taken as a marker for the latter. By contrast, there has been less attention
given to a possible link between handedness and affective disorders (particularly
major depression) and, unlike the case of psychosis, there is no a priori reason for
such a link. There are very few studies of the relationship between depression and
handedness in normal populations. This paper uses a new large population survey
from 12 European countries to measure the association between handedness and
depression. It is found that, using three different measures, left-handers are
significantly more likely to have depressive symptoms that right-handers. For
example left-handers are about 5% more likely to have reported having ever
experienced symptoms of depression compared to about 27% of the total sample.