Quick Write What social forces do you think might influence/cause the onset of depression? What is your reasoning behind this?
Psychology 4.14 The Sociocultural View of Depression
Goals When you leave, you will be able to discuss gender, cultural, and social considerations associated with the onset of depression.
Society and Depression Sociocultural theorists speculate that depression is influenced by the society in which people live. Researchers have found support for this in establishing connections between both depression and characteristics such as gender, race, culture, and social support
Culture and Depression Depression is, for the most part, a global disorder. What it looks like exactly may vary from place to place: For example, depression in non-Western cultures is more likely to be accompanied by psycho-somatic symptoms like fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and sleep disturbances. In Western cultures, it is more often accompanied by psychological symptoms like self-blame and guilt.
Culture and Depression In many cases, the prevalence of depression world wide looks slightly different: Namely in non-western cultures such as China, their seems to be almost no depression. What sorts of factors did we mention/discuss as being connected with this disparity?
Gender and Depression We know that there exists a significant disparity between the prevalence rate for women suffering from depression vs. men. About how much more likely are women to suffer from depression?
This seems to be a worldwide phenomenon Women globally are at least twice as likely to suffer from depression. Women also appear to be younger when depression strikes, have longer-lasting bouts, and respond less successfully to treatment.
What are some of the explanations for these gender differences? Artifact Theory Says that men and women are equally prone to depression. Clinicians are simply less likely to see it in men. Why do you think this might be? Maybe because it is less socially acceptable in men? Perhaps women are more likely to display “emotional” symptoms? Criticisms: Data seems to support that women are no more likely than men to admit that they are suffering from depression. Thus far, there is very little data to back this up.
Quality of life theory(Gender Differences) Women generally experience more stress than men. On average, they face more poverty, more menial jobs, less adequate housing, and more discrimination. In many homes, women bear a disproportionate amount of responsibility. Do you see a connection between this and other theories or models of depression that we have discussed?
Hormone Theory (Gender Differences) A woman’s biological life is characterized by frequent and significant changes in hormone levels. Gender differences in rates of depression also span these same years. Criticisms It seems unlikely that these hormonal changes have direct link to depression. This theory is also criticized as sexist: It basically says that women are biologically flawed.
What are other factors mentioned in the article that you read for today?
Race and Depression In terms of white Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans, the overall rate of depression is pretty consistent. Some specific ethnic populations have prevalence rates far above average. EX: A study of one Native American village in the US showed the lifetime risk of depression was 37% among women, 19% among men, and 28% overall. (Kinzie et al., 1992)
Social and Cultural factors of Depression (Social Stress) Most researchers agree that life “stressors” can lead to the onset of depression. Remember those groups that seem particularly vulnerable based on current research: Impoverished (Low-SES) Women
What are “stressors”? Loss of employment Abuse Caring for children (or several) No SOCIAL SUPPORT Loss of parents
Diathesis-Stress Model Widely accepted model that can be used as an explanation of more than just depression. The Diathesis-Stress model claims that the onset of depression or depressive episodes is a result of genetic predisposition and “stressors”.
Brown and Harris (1978)Social Factors in Depression Study completed in England that sought to link social factors and depression. The sample included females both that were patients being treated for depression and a general population between 18-65 years old. When interviewed, they found that about 82 percent who were depressed had at least one life “stressor” when compared to those who were not depressed.
Brown and Harris (1978)Other results About 23% of working class women studied had recently suffered from depression as opposed to 3% of the middle class women. Amongst the working-class, those with young children were more likely to become depressed than those with no children or older children. Women who were widowed or divorced seem susceptible to much higher rates of depression. Stressful life events did not guarantee the onset of depression. Data seems to show that “support” can significantly reduce the likelihood of depression.