Who is more prone to depression at higher latitudes? Islanders or mainlanders?

Evert Van de Vliert*, Peter Jason Rentfrow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Downloads (Pure)


Across 195 countries, rates of depressive disorders in women and men are higher among islanders (relative to mainlanders) at more northern locations in the Northern Hemisphere and at more southern locations in the Southern Hemisphere. Our explanatory analyses show that the three-way interaction of greater daylength variability, being more of an islander, and adopting a more individualistic culture accounts for higher rates of depression in both genders. Differences in longitude, photoperiod, phase shift, disaster risk, economic poverty, income inequality, and urbanization level do not appear to account for the oppositely sloping north-south gradients of depression above and below the equator.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100012
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Research in Ecological and Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6-Jul-2021


  • depression
  • latitudinal gradient
  • daylength variability
  • islanders
  • mainlanders

Cite this