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Depression and stereotypes of women: Preliminary empirical analyses of the gender-role hypothesis

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For four studies, which provide modest support for the view that depression and stereotypes of women are similar, overlapping categories are presented. The first study found that depressed people and normal people were described in stereotypically feminine and stereotypically masculine terms, respectively. The second study found that DSM-III descriptions of depressive disorders were perceived as women, and that the more severe depression was perceived as a married woman. The third study found that stereotypes of women differ significantly by marital status, where the stereotype of married women was both less stereotypically masculine and more stereotypically feminine than the other stereotypes. The fourth study found that the stereotype of married women did not differ significantly on most items from a description of depressives, while stereotypes of single women and of mothers did. Implications of these studies for the gender role hypothesis of depression are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.

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Correspondence to Hope Landrine.

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Landrine, H. Depression and stereotypes of women: Preliminary empirical analyses of the gender-role hypothesis. Sex Roles 19, 527–541 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289722

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  • Depression
  • Marital Status
  • Social Psychology
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Empirical Analysis