Depression Mixed with Anxiety, Somatization, and Disordered Eating: Relationship with Gender-Role-Related Limitations Experienced by Females

Research paper by Brett Silverstein, Emily Blumenthal

Indexed on: 01 Jun '97Published on: 01 Jun '97Published in: Sex roles


In several previous studies, females who reported that they felt limited by responses to their gender, or viewed their mothers as having been limited in this way, exhibited higher prevalence compared to other females or to males of depression accompanied by anxiety, somatic symptoms such as headaches, disordered eating, and poor body image/preference for thinness (“anxious somatic depression”), but not higher prevalence of depression unaccompanied by these other symptoms (“pure depression”). In this study of high school students, females whose mothers scored high on a scale measuring their feelings of having been limited by traditional gender roles reported much higher prevalence than other females of anxious somatic depression, but not higher prevalence of pure depression. Mothers' reports of depression were not related to daughters' anxious somatic depression.