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Lecture 6

Psyc 320 lecture 60.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 320
Sunaina Assanand

Psyc 320 lecture 60 By the end of today’s class you should be able to: 1. Discuss sex differences in rates of depression 2. Discuss the role of hormones in accounting for sex differences in depression 3. Describe Seligman’s model of learned helplessness 4. Distinguish between problem-focused coping and emotion focused-coping 5. Review research findings on sex differences in coping Are there sex differences in depression (cont)?  Peek sex difference in age range 18-24  Sex differences do not appear in university students  Depression as a function of education level: females report higher levels of depression than males with some high school education. As you move to higher levels of education there are no sex differences and once you get to PhD females report less depression o There is less variability with the slope of females reporting depression than in the slope of the male line o Perhaps...  Depressed persons do not continue to get higher levels of education  Sense of perceived control: at low levels of education people feel that they have low levels of control over their lives (there is a greater feeling of low self control for females as they have challenge of reduced power and female gender role). At higher education levels people feel more control over their lives which causes lower levels of depression  Sex differences in depression are found across nations  Females having depression more than males is consistent across cultures o It is consistent that females are 2X more likely to be depressed  Explanations for sex differences in depression: 1. Hormones: Depression is more likely to co-occur between fathers and sons than fathers and daughters –genetic explanations aren’t very helpful a. Testosterone: there is not a clear relationship between levels of testosterone and depression. There appears to be a curvilinear relationship between them. How depression manifests differs among levels of testosterone. Demonstrates a curvilinear relationship with depression among males i. Males low in testosterone—males show depression in prototypical feminine ways (feeling sad, low in energy, bouts of crying) ii. Males high in testosterone—show depression through externalizing it (excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse) b. Hormonal fluctuations among females: research here is inconclusive. Some research shows that with the onset of puberty there are increased rates of depression. A consistent relationship between hormonal (estrogen) changes and depression has not been demonstrated among females i. Puberty—increased estrogen and depression ii. Menopause—shift in hormone levels—increase in depression (there is a lot of fluxuation in hormone levels but not in depression levels) iii. Post menopause—reduced level of estrogen and reduced depression c. Oxytocin: hormone described as associated with the tend and befriend response among females (differential responses to stress—females when they encounter stress use tend and befriend response). Theorized result in greater reactivity to interpersonal stressors among females than males; however, some research has shown that oxytocin reduces women’s reactivity to stress (reduced blood pressure) i. The relatively high levels of oxytocin in females when stress is encountered with interpersonal stress and in turn results in higher rates of depression
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