When it comes to depressed men in the military, does size matter?

July 23, 2014

Both short and tall men in the military are more at risk for depression than their uniformed colleagues of average height, a new study finds. This study was published today in the open access journal SAGE Open.

Despite the researchers' original hypothesis that shorter men in the military would be more psychologically vulnerable than their taller counterparts, researchers Valery Krupnik and Mariya Cherkasova found that both shorter and taller than average by one standard deviation may be predisposed to higher rates of depressive disorders.

The researchers studied the records of 196 males that had depression-related diagnoses from a mental health clinic serving active duty personnel. The patients were grouped into three height groups and ranked based on the severity of their . While height was related to the likelihood of having a depressive disorder, it did not correlate with anxiety disorders diagnoses.

"To our knowledge, there are no preventive programs specifically targeting shorter or taller boys," the authors commented. "We believe that such programs implemented in school could be beneficial for them in developing higher resilience to the pressure of low social status based on body height."

Explore further: Shorter woman, taller man: Preferences for partner height translate into actual partner choices

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not rated yet Jul 23, 2014
Bigger, stronger men have a higher status in training but are a bigger and so more vulnerable target in front line fighting, especially in guerilla and street battles where individuals may be exposed to snipers.

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