Article

Gender specific correlates of stigma toward depression in a Canadian general population sample

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.71). 12/2007; 103(1-3):91-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2007.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify gender specific demographic, clinical, knowledge and attitudinal factors associated with stigma related to depression.
Data were collected between February and June 2006 in a probability sampled population-based survey of 3047 adults in Alberta, Canada. Measures included a depression stigma scale. Correlates of stigma were examined using bivariate analyses and linear regression modeling methods separately for men and women.
In multivariate linear regression models, correct identification of depression in a case description and agreement with health professionals about treatments were associated with lower stigma scores, regardless of gender. Endorsing GP/family doctors and taking medications as being the best help for depression was negatively associated with stigma scores in women. In men, endorsing family/friends as the best help for depression or "don't know" the best help for depression was positively associated with stigma scores. Women who had family/friends with depression had less stigma than women who did not have. This was not observed in men. Among male participants, significant interactions between being a health professional, having close family/friends with depression and reporting "weakness of character" as a causal factor for depression were found.
Improving mental health literacy may be one of the promising ways to reduce stigma associated with depression. Personal contacts with individuals with depression may have positive effects on stigma in women. Mental health education and promotion should clarify misconceptions about causes, treatments and risk factors for depression. Gender differences related to stigma should be considered in stigma reduction initiatives.

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    • "The structured questionnaire was in English. The question items and two clinical vignettes were developed based on review of the relevant literature (Lawrie et al., 1998; Jorm et al., 1999; Baker et al., 2005; Munro and Baker, 2007; Chow et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2007; Volmer et al., 2008) and input from research team members. The two clinical vignettes that portrayed schizophrenia and depression were presented separately in two sets of survey instrument with identical question items. "
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    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 03/2013; 5(1):E19-28. DOI:10.1111/j.1758-5872.2012.00208.x · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    • "Additionally, other findings support the view that males are generally less likely to value health professional assistance in general and mental health services in particular (Cotton, Wright, Harris, Jorn, & McGorry, 2006). Moreover, Wang et al (2007) suggest that level of stigma may influence beliefs about treatment by gender: in their study about stigma toward depression, endorsing health professionals and taking medications as being the best treatment was negatively associated with stigma in women, while endorsing family/members as the best help was positively related with stigma scores among men. "
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    • "Some researchers have attempted to explain the differences between men and women related to depression based on gender socialization. For example, it has been suggested that men have less exposure to depression in other men and within themselves because masculine norms discourage reporting depressive symptoms (Kilmartin, 2005; Wang et al., 2007). Consequently, men and their family members may be less familiar with dealing with depression and this may cause more perceived disruption in the family as they try to navigate this new experience. "
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