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Title:Women's family roles and vulnerability to depression: Focus on the Korean middle-aged women
Author(s):Kim, Yoon-ock
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Women's Studies
Abstract:This research explored the relationship between female family-roles and women's vulnerability to depression. Using the psycho-social perspective, this study is based on the configuration of the person-in-situation framework, and highlighted the Korean women's depression in the context of culture, society, and history.
Data were collected from records of patients in 4 mental hospitals located in Seoul, Korea. The sample consisted of 141 Korean middle-aged women, who were diagnosed as being depressed. Employing the method of qualitative analysis, the research attempted to interpret how and why Korean women become depressed.
According to casenotes from the mental hospitals, husbands' extramarital love affairs, conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, and affairs concerning children were major life events that were most frequently associated with the onset of depression. However, life events per se did not cause depression. Rather, the ideals of the good woman, her family roles, and patriarchal family structure were intertwined with each other, and their interaction held the key to understanding depression in women. That is, the Korean woman's depression was an end-result of her efforts of being "a good woman" in a patriarchal family system. This contributed to maintaining and perpetuating the patriarchal family system. At the same time, socially defined and constructed Korean femininity operated in such a manner as to cripple women's psychological well-being. This occurred because searching for the true path for femininity could be possible by women's de-selfing adaption to their roles--that is, sacrificing themselves for others, including their husbands, children, and the in-laws.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Kim, Yoon-ock
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9021706
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9021706

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