Psychological Distress and the Intersection of Gender and Physical Disability: Considering Gender and Disability-Related Risk Factors

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing on work concerning novel risk factors associated with gender and physical disability, the present study applies an intersectionality perspective to examine: (1) the independent significance of three appraisals of the self and social relationships (i.e., self-esteem, mastery and emotional reliance), as well as perceived devaluation and functional limitation, for depressive symptoms among women and men with physical disabilities; (2) the interactive significance of these factors for psychological distress; and (3) whether these processes vary systematically by gender. Utilizing data from a U.S. community study of 214 women and 162 men ages 40–93 with physical disabilities in Miami-Dade County, Florida, OLS regression analysis demonstrates differences in the associations between these factors and depressive symptoms by gender. Emotional reliance is independently associated with depressive symptoms and interacts with perceived devaluation in the prediction of depressive symptoms only among women in this sample. Among the men surveyed, in contrast, self-esteem and mastery are both associated with depressive symptoms and both interact with perceived devaluation in predicting depressive symptoms. Findings are discussed in light of work linking gender differences in mental health with gender differences in appraisals of the self and social relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Volume71
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Mental health
  • Perceived devaluation
  • Physical disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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