2008 - Gender and Depression Women 2x more likely to suffer...

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Gender and Depression Women 2x more likely to suffer from depression o Increased risk begins in Adolescence Why the Difference Nolen Hoeksema(2001) Stressful life events o Women experience more stressful life events Reactivity to stress o Women may react to stress in ways that promote depression, rather than coping Men may respond in similar ways but they are better at masking it Stressful Life Events Victimization o Sexual assault -> depression Women twice as likely to be victims, especially childhood assault o Chronic strains -> depression Women more likely to live in poverty, be sexually harassed, inequalities in relationships (e.g. power, childcare, etc.) o Gender intensification -> limits choices, focuses on appearance Girls, especially whites, face increased expectations re: appearance, gender-role congruity, etc. MAY be linked to depression Reactivity to stress Biological responses? o Estrogen/progesterone influence mood? No evidence. Self-concept o Girls and boys don’t differ much overall o Girls more relational -> subvert own needs/desires -> risk for depression? o Mastery -> Girls may feel lower sense of mastery or control over their lives Coping Styles o Women binge eat more than men o Women ruminate more than men Rumination = process of perseverating on ones feelings and thought rather than the content of ones thought’s Response Styles Theory Ruminating over stressful life events promotes short term and long term risk for depression
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Gender differences in socialization that promote differences in rumination explain gender differences in depression Rumination Prolongs Distress Enhances effects of depressed mood on thinking o Use negative thoughts/ memories to understand current situation “I lost my job because I’m bad at it”
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2008 - Gender and Depression Women 2x more likely to suffer...

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