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Sex-role orientation and depressive symptomatology

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Abstract

The incidence of depressive disorders among women in our society is considerably higher than it is for men. Several investigators have suggested that this is due to traditional sex roles and status of women. One way in which this might work is suggested by Seligman's learned helplessness model of depression. Such considerations have led to the present attempt to evaluate the relationships of gender, sex roles, and depression. Forty male and 40 female subjects, recruited from graduate education courses, were given the NIMH-CES Depression Scale and the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. Analysis of covariance for males suggested that Bem M-Scale scores significantly predict depression, higher M scores associated with lower depression scores. For females, both M scores and M × F interaction predicted depression, higher F and lower M scores associated with greater depression. No differences were found between male and female subjects in depression scale scores. Thus, sex role appears a more potent predictor of depression than gender.

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Correspondence to Stephen A. Karp.

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Elpern, S., Karp, S.A. Sex-role orientation and depressive symptomatology. Sex Roles 10, 987–992 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288519

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Keywords

  • Depression
  • Covariance
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Depression Scale
  • Female Subject