Effects of gender, diagnostic labels, and causal theories on willingness to report symptoms of depression
Previous research has investigated whether lower rates of diagnosed depression in men may be due in part to sex differences in how men and women respond to the various contextual cues associated with self-report measures of depression (Sigmon et al., 2005). In the current study, a community sample completed an online CES-D self-report measure, and we manipulated both the causal theory of depression (controllable or uncontrollable) and the type of label (stress or depression) presented along with the measure. The effect of these factors on willingness to self-report was evaluated according to sex (n = 445) and gender (n = 443) in two separate 2 × 2 × 2 cross-sectional designs. Results indicate that men were less likely to self-report when the term depression was used in conjunction with an uncontrollable causal theory attributing symptoms to factors outside one's personal control (e.g., biology or environmental events). This effect may contribute to the documented sex difference in diagnosed rates of depression, and is important for healthcare workers to consider when screening men for depression in clinical settings. © 2012 Guilford Publications, Inc.
Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Berger, Joshua L.; Addis, Michael E.; Reilly, Erin D.; Syzdek, Matthew R.; and Green, Jonathan D., "Effects of gender, diagnostic labels, and causal theories on willingness to report symptoms of depression" (2012). Psychology. 98.