Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Elwin C. Nielsen


Elwin C. Nielsen


Keith T. Checketts


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of attributional style, sex roles, and sex-role self-discrepancy in the relationship between gender and depression. Epidemiological studies report a higher incidence of depression among women then men (approximately 2:1). Among the various theories suggested to explain this gender difference, sex roles, attributional style, and self-discrepancy have been conceived as possible explanations. The relationship between gender and depression may be better understood through examining the possible contribution of these three independent variables.

To examine these theories, a sample of 130 subjects was drawn from clients at the USU Counseling Center, the USU Community Clinic, the Logan Regional Hospital, and students from an introductory psychology class at USU. Participation was based on voluntary informed consent of the subjects and approval of the above mentioned institutions. Each subject completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Extended Attributional Style Questionnaire (EASQ), and a revised version of the short Bern Sex-Role Inventory (SBSRI) measuring ideal versus actual self.

Path analysis was used to examine the sequence of the relationships presumed by the androgyny model, congruence model, and masculinity model. Neither sex role was found to correlate significantly with depression. Overall, the directions of the path coefficients best supported the androgyny model, but these coefficients were too weak to explain the variance. Attributional style was related to depression, but no gender difference was found in the correlation between attributional style and depression.

The correlation coefficient between feminine self-discrepancy and depression was positive but statistically insignificant for the females from the clinical sample and very small for females from the student sample. Overall, attributional style, sex-roles, and self-discrepancy in sex-role characteristics were not found to contribute to the higher rate of depression in women.



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