Negotiating the Interpretation of Depression Shared Among Kin

Claire Snell-Rood, Richard Merkel, Nancy Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Kinship processes contribute to the experience and interpretation of depression—generating empathy as well as silencing. We explore intersubjective experiences of depression among kin with the aim of understanding how depression can reveal kinship expectations and evolving concepts of distress. In interviews with 28 low-income rural Appalachian women about their depression, participants articulated depression as a social process that neither starts nor ends in themselves. Yet kinship obligations to recognize family members’ depression limited women’s ability to admit distress, let alone request care. The intersubjective experience of depression among kin can challenge the individual expression of distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-552
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis.


  • Appalachia
  • depression
  • gender
  • intersubjective
  • kinship
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology


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