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Psychological Theories


Many psychological theories in the development of gender and depression have been explored extensively[14], and a detailed discussion is beyond the scope of this module. They include:

  • Psychoanalytic theories, developed by Freud and his critics - where female development is viewed as inferior to male development due to anatomical differences, and predisposes women to emotional instability such as depression

  • Attachment theories - where the inability to make bonds within relationships relate to failure to form secure attachments with parents during infancy

  • Cognitive theory - where gender behaviour such as passivity, dependence, and helplessness is learned


14. How, Catherine, Psychological perspectives on women's vulnerability to mental illness. In: Women and Mental Health. London UK: Routlage, 2000.

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