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Understanding Social Change$
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Anthony F. Heath, John Ermisch, and Duncan Gallie

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263143

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263143.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 08 April 2020

The Social Origins of Depression and the Role of Meaning

The Social Origins of Depression and the Role of Meaning

Chapter:
(p.254) (p.255) 10. The Social Origins of Depression and the Role of Meaning
Source:
Understanding Social Change
Author(s):

George W. Brown

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263143.003.0010

This chapter discusses the role of social factors in ill health, with a particular focus on depression. Major life events increase the risk of most depressive disorders. In a longitudinal study carried out in the early 1980s of 400 mothers in Islington, 1 in 10 developed a depressive disorder within a year, and most of those had a severely threatening life event not long before. This chapter also summarises the three forms of meaning relevant for the aetiology of depression. First, the role-based meanings of severe events relate to traditional anthropological and sociological concerns. Second, the evolutionary-derived meanings show that the experience of humiliation following a severe event is critical in the development of depression. Finally, the memory-linked emotional schemas influence a person's vulnerability to events.

Keywords:   ill health, depression, depressive disorders, role-based meanings, evolutionary-derived meanings, memory-linked emotional schemas

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