Vulnerability to mental illnesses: Gender makes a difference, and so does providing good psychiatric care

American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 03/2005; 162(2):211-3. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.162.2.211
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    • "Therefore, sex differences of neuroanatomy are thought to be one of the major phenotypes of X-linked genes (Arnold 2004). Furthermore, sex-dimorphism in brain anatomy may provide clues for understanding the neural background of sex-biased probability of mental illness (Andreasen 2005; Baron-Cohen et al. 2005), whereas the behavioral correlates of sex-dimorphism in brain morphology as yet remain unclear. Taken together, sex differences in altruistic cooperativeness and neuroanatomy might at least in part share a genetic background. "
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    ABSTRACT: Human altruistic cooperativeness, one of the most important components of our highly organized society, is along with a greatly enlarged brain relative to body size a spectacular outlier in the animal world. The "social-brain hypothesis" suggests that human brain expansion reflects an increased necessity for information processing to create social reciprocity and cooperation in our complex society. The present study showed that the young adult females (n = 66) showed greater Cooperativeness as well as larger relative global and regional gray matter volumes (GMVs) than the matched males (n = 89), particularly in the social-brain regions including bilateral posterior inferior frontal and left anterior medial prefrontal cortices. Moreover, in females, higher cooperativeness was tightly coupled with the larger relative total GMV and more specifically with the regional GMV in most of the regions revealing larger in female sex-dimorphism. The global and most of regional correlations between GMV and Cooperativeness were significantly specific to female. These results suggest that sexually dimorphic factors may affect the neurodevelopment of these "social-brain" regions, leading to higher cooperativeness in females. The present findings may also have an implication for the pathophysiology of autism; characterized by severe dysfunction in social reciprocity, abnormalities in social-brain, and disproportionately low probability in females.
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    ABSTRACT: Regardless of specific diagnosis, females almost always express psychological distress differently from males. Age is a key factor in differences between the two genders.
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents a discussion of the author's research on differences in psychotherapy outcome between men and women. Two studies are highlighted. The first concerned differential responses of men and women to interpretive and supportive models of short-term individual psychotherapy. This study found that men benefited more in interpretive therapy than supportive therapy. Conversely, women benefited more from supportive therapy than interpretive therapy. The second study concerned differential responses of men and women to interpretive and supportive models of short-term group psychotherapy and also examined possible mediators of differential response. The study found that women, compared with men, had superior responses in both types of group therapy. The generally poor response of men could be attributed, in part, to their lower levels of commitment to the groups and their lower levels of compatibility with the other (primarily female) group members. The article concludes with thoughts about new directions for research on the outcome of psychotherapy for men and women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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