Negotiating the Interpretation of Depression Shared Among Kin

Claire Snell-Rood, Richard Merkel, Nancy Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

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
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a pilot grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science [grant number NIH UL1TR000117] and write-up of the article was supported by BIRCWH [grant number K12 DA035150] from the Office of Women’s Health Research and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We express our deep appreciation first and foremost to the women who took part in this study, who generously shared their deeply personal experiences. None of this work would have been possible without the expertise and dedication of research coordinator Keisha Hudson, collaborator Frances Feltner, and the entire talented team at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health. We are grateful for the intensive feedback provided by the guest editors for this special issue, Tine M. Gammeltoft and Pauline Oosterhoof, as well as the editor Lenore Manderson, and three anonymous reviewers. Earlier drafts benefited from the perspectives of Ted Lowe and Claudia Strauss. The University of Kentucky Institutional Review Board approved this study.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a pilot grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science [grant number NIH UL1TR000117] and write-up of the article was supported by BIRCWH [grant number K12 DA035150] from the Office of Women’s Health Research and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology

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