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Silencing the Self Across CulturesDepression and Gender in the Social World$
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Dana C. Jack and Alisha Ali

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195398090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398090.001.0001

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Women's Self-Silencing and Depression in the Socio-cultural Context of Germany

Women's Self-Silencing and Depression in the Socio-cultural Context of Germany

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter 5 Women's Self-Silencing and Depression in the Socio-cultural Context of Germany
Source:
Silencing the Self Across Cultures
Author(s):

Tanja Zoellner

Susanne Hedlund

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398090.003.0006

This chapter explores how the construct of self-silencing can contribute to our understanding of the effects of socio-cultural expectations placed on German women. The authors provide historical and social perspectives on the experiences of German women to illustrate the explanatory role of self-silencing theory for depression. The chapter describes German values regarding women's mothering roles (e.g., self-sacrifice and selflessness) and relates those values to risk factors for self-silencing and depression, presenting evidence that the Silencing the Self Scale distinguishes between depressed women, agoraphobic women, and healthy women. The authors also examine self-silencing, attachment styles and effects of violence on depression. They suggest that the experience of violence is an underlying factor for both self-silencing and mental health problems in women, and emphasize the importance of the trend in Germany toward increased public awareness of the damaging effects of violence against women.[Q1]

Keywords:   self-silencing, germany, social values, intimate partner violence, depression, agoraphobia, attachment styles, silencing the self scale

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