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Type: Thesis
Title: Understandings of men’s depression in published research, news media portrayals, and men’s accounts of their experiences.
Author: Scholz, Brett David
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Population Health
Abstract: Within the next two decades, depression is predicted to become the leading cause of disease burden in developed countries, and the second leading cause of disease burden globally. There is a relatively large body of research on women’s experiences of depression, but research on men’s depression, and their experiences with depression, has been fragmented. The aim of this dissertation is to contribute to the understanding of depression in men through the triangulation of three diverse sources of data that deal with men’s experiences of depression. These data sources are: existing published research studies, media portrayals, and in-depth interviews with men. Applying a systematic review methodology, the first study explores current knowledge about the factors associated with depressive symptoms in men. These factors include social and demographic factors, occupational factors, health behavioural factors, and psychological or cognitive factors. I discuss the relevance of these findings in relation to diathesis-stress models of depression, and to theories of pathoplasticity which describe an individual’s vulnerability to potential stressors. In the second study, I extend the theory that ‘softer’ masculinities are becoming increasingly valued in modern society, through an investigation of how depressed men are positioned by particular discourses in news media articles. I explore news media portrayals of men’s communication about their depression in relation to theories of stigma and masculinity. The findings of this study highlight the role media can play in reproducing or challenging such stigma. The third and final study addresses the limited research on men’s subjectivities of distress. I add to the body of knowledge about men’s discourses of depression by exploring how men draw on medical understandings of depression and how they talk about the broader social contexts of their experiences. The focus of this study is to explore the understandings of depression experienced by a group of Australian men with high depressive symptoms. This study utlises a thematic analytic framework to provide an overview of men’s subjectivities of depression. The findings of this study provide more depth to knowledge of men’s understandings of depression. This dissertation has several theoretical contributions and implications for clinical practice, public health services, and policy makers. The findings provide health practitioners and the public health sector with comprehensive knowledge about the relevant factors associated with men’s depression. This dissertation also presents an overview of factors discussed by a group of men with depression. This provides an understanding of how men make sense of their condition. The research findings highlight how discourses of men’s depression can work to dispel or reproduce stigma around men’s mental health concerns. These findings are particularly relevant to policy makers for their debate and development of the gender equality in mental health outcomes.
Advisor: Crabb, Shona Helen
Wittert, Gary Allen
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Population Health, 2015
Keywords: men's health; mental health; depression; masculinity
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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