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 men 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 depressive disorder. 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."