Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Keith T. Checketts


Keith T. Checketts


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between gender and depression as a function of sex roles. Four hundred twenty subjects were recruited from two introductory psychology courses at Utah State University. Subjects completed the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

A difference was found in the rate of depression between females and males that exceeds the generally accepted 2:1 ratio. There was a female to male ratio of approximately 4:1 in the group of subjects who indicated a high level of depression on the Beck Depression Inventory.

Multiple Regression Analysis was computed to examine the relationship between the dependent variable (BDI scores) and the independent variables (BSRI Masculinity scale, Femininity scale, and four factors of the BSRI). Factors indicating nurturing, independence, and activity were negatively correlated with depression. The Masculinity scale was positively correlated with depression.

These findings contradict the theory that being feminine contributes to the higher incidence of depression among females. The results suggest that people with more active, independent, and nurturing personality traits are less inclined to be depressed.



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