Date of Award
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Epidemiological studies have shown depression to be more prevalent among women than among men. In attempting to explain this fact, the author made use of E. Bibring's (1953) theory of depression. Bibring proposed that a fixation to a feeling of helplessness is predisposing to depression. The present author conjectured that women, more than men, have developed such fixations. Birbring postulated three kinds of helplessness fixation. The present author used the Succorance scale of Jackson's Personality Research Form (PRF-S) to measure the dependency that is characteristic of an oral-level helplessness fixation. He used the Hostile-Guilt scale of the Mosher Incomplete Sentences Test (MIST-H) and the Inhibition-of-Impulse scale of the Picture Preference Test (PPT-I) to measure the inhibition of aggression that is characteristic of an anal-level fixation. The author used a test of Other-Derived Self-Esteem (ODSEM) to measure the dependency on others for self-judgement that is characteristic of a phallic-level fixation. The author predicted that women would have higher fixation scores than men, that depressed women would have higher fixation scores than other women, and that women's depression intensity would positively correlate with their fixation scores. He did not expect men's fixation scores to show similar relationships to depression. A preliminary study found the PPT-I, the MIST-H, and the ODSEM to be sufficiently reliable for use in the main study. The main study involved comparisons between samples of depressed adults, nondepressed adults, and control adults. There were 75 women and 70 men in the study. All the subjects were individually administered the fixation measures and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1986 .B555. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 47-05, Section: B, page: 2149. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1986.
BILLINGSLEY, RALPH., "HELPLESSNESS, SEX ROLES, AND DEPRESSION." (1986). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2281.