Diet–Behavior Relationships: Focus on Depression

Pages: 209
Item #: 4317580
ISBN: 978-1-55798-325-1
List Price: $9.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $9.95
Copyright: 1996
Format: Softcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

In the midst of confusion and misinformation in both public and professional circles, there is a small but growing body of scientific literature on the effect of diet and various specific nutrients on behavior. Psychologist Larry Christensen has written Diet–Behavior Relationships to summarize the research in a form that will be useful both to researchers in this relatively new field (listing issues and methodological concerns that must be addressed in future research) and to practitioners who wish to understand how the current state of scientific knowledge can be applied in the therapeutic context.

In this book, Christensen examines the historical context; strategic and methodological approaches; neurobiological and psychological mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of food, focusing on depression; and recent findings on a number of specific nutrients and dietary components (including L-tryptophan, caffeine, and sucrose) as they relate to physical and psychological conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, seasonal affective disorder, autism, and Down's syndrome. He concludes with recommendations and caveats for applying current knowledge about nutrition as an adjunct to more conventional therapy.

Table of Contents


I. History and Methodology

  1. Historical Development of the Field of Study
  2. Research Strategies and Methodological Issues

II. Theoretical Bases of Diet–Behavior Relationships

  1. Metabolic Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Carbohydrates on Behavior
  2. Psychological Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Carbohydrates on Depression

III. Behavioral Effects of Food

  1. The Effects of Diet on Mood and Task Performance
  2. Nutrition and Depression
  3. The Role of Carbohydrates in Seasonal Affective Disorder, Obesity, and Premenstrual Syndrome

IV. The Use of Diet as Therapy

  1. Efficacy of Dietary Interventions for the Treatment of Depression
  2. Efficacy of Dietary Interventions for the Treatment of Disorders in Children and Adolescents
  3. Recommendations for Applying Diet Therapy

Appendix A: Christensen Dietary Distress Inventory (CDDI) Administration Booklet

Appendix B: Dietary Instructions and Sample Diet



About the Author

Author Bio
Larry Christensen, PhD, received his graduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. He advanced through the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor at Texas A&M University and recently accepted a position as Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of South Alabama. He has taught courses in research methods, psychological statistics, social psychology, and the psychology of nutrition. He is past president of the Southwestern Psychological Association and served as committee judge for the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize. Dr. Christensen has authored or coauthored more than 55 scientific articles. His books include Experimental Methodology, Introduction to Statistics for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (with C. Stoup), and The Food–Mood Connection: Eating Your Way to Happiness.