Silencing the Self Across Cultures: Depression and Gender in the Social World

Dana C. Jack, Alisha Ali

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This international volume offers new perspectives on social and psychological aspects of the complex dynamic of depression. The 21 contributors from 13 countries-Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Haiti, India, Israel, Nepal, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and the United States-represent contexts with very different histories, political and economic structures, and gender role disparities. Authors use Silencing the Self theory, which details the negative psychological effects when individuals silence themselves in close relationships and the importance of the social context in precipitating depression. This book breaks new ground by demonstrating that the linkage of depressive symptoms with self-silencing occurs across a range of cultures. Chapters offer evidence regarding why women's depression is more widespread than men's and why the treatment of depression lies in understanding that a person's individual psychology is inextricably related to the social world and to close relationships. Several chapters describe the transformative possibilities of community-driven movements for disadvantaged women that support healing through a recovery of voice, and describe the need for systemic and structural changes to counter violations of human rights as a means of reducing women's risk of depression. Chapters also discuss health-related aspects of self-silencing, including eating disorders, treatment for cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and self-care for women in cancer treatment. Bringing the work of these researchers together in one collection furthers international dialogue about critical social factors that affect the rising rates of depression around the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages568
ISBN (Electronic)9780199776900
ISBN (Print)9780195398090
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Human rights violations
  • International
  • Relationships
  • Self-silencing
  • Silencing the Self Scale
  • Social context
  • Women'S roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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