Gender Differences in Depression

Salk, R. et al. Psychological Bulletin | Published online: 27 April 2017


In 2 meta-analyses on gender differences in depression in nationally representative samples, we advance previous work by including studies of depression diagnoses and symptoms to

(a) estimate the magnitude of the gender difference in depression across a wide array of nations and ages;

(b) use a developmental perspective to elucidate patterns of gender differences across the life span; and

(c) incorporate additional theory-driven moderators (e.g., gender equity).

The gender difference for diagnoses emerged earlier than previously thought, with OR = 2.37 at age 12. For both meta-analyses, the gender difference peaked in adolescence (OR = 3.02 for ages 13–15, and d = 0.47 for age 16) but then declined and remained stable in adulthood. Cross-national analyses indicated that larger gender differences were found in nations with greater gender equity, for major depression, but not depression symptoms. The gender difference in depression represents a health disparity, especially in adolescence, yet the magnitude of the difference indicates that depression in men should not be overlooked

Read the abstract here

Young women are now a ‘high-risk group’ for mental illness

Rates of mental health problems and self-harming are rising in young women, but why? | The Guardian


Psychological distress in women aged 16-24 is at an all-time high, with record numbers admitting to harming themselves to relieve their distress, according to an alarming study.

Experts say young women are now a “high-risk group” and point to links between mental illness and violence or sexual abuse, and possible pressures from the rise of social media. This has prompted calls from researchers for more funding to protect the nation’s mental health.

Read the full news story here

The Transition From Thinness-Oriented to Muscularity-Oriented Disordered Eating in Adolescent Males

Murray, S.B. et al. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: 16 December 2016


Purpose: Robust empirical evidence has illustrated a rising prevalence of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among males, noting that both may be oriented more toward muscularity—as opposed to thinness-oriented concerns. While an elevated prevalence of premorbid anorexia nervosa (AN) has been noted among those with muscle dysmorphia, little evidence has examined the process of this transition from thinness-oriented to muscularity-oriented disordered eating.


Conclusions: Transdiagnostic crossover between thinness-oriented and muscularity-oriented disordered eating represents an important clinical concern, which may be challenging to measure and assess. Implications for treatment are discussed, and the early detection of muscularity-oriented disordered eating.

Read the full abstract here

Gender Identity and Eating Disorders

Murray, S.B. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: November 10, 2016


Few psychiatric disorders are as sexually dimorphic as the eating disorders. Current prevalence estimates illustrate a striking disparity between male and female eating disorders, with many reports noting a ratio of 1:10 . While recent epidemiological data suggest a ratio closer to 1:4, the relative greater preponderance of eating disorders in female populations is well established.

Furthermore, alongside these differential prevalence rates, recent evidence also points toward a phenomenological difference in the symptomatic presentation of male versus female eating disorders. Indeed, epidemiological studies have consistently illustrated greater self-reported concerns around muscularity than thinness among males and a greater concern around thinness as opposed to muscularity in females.

This distinction is also evident in clinical populations, where males with eating disorders are likely to report greater concern, and concomitant eating disorder psychopathology, around their degree of muscularity, as opposed to thinness per se, whereas females with eating disorders do not typically endorse muscularity-oriented concerns.

Read the full article here

Gender and children and young people’s emotional and mental health: manifestations and responses

Hamblin, E. Gender and children and young people’s emotional and mental health: manifestations and responses. A rapid review of the evidence. | National Childrens Bureau


This document aims to provide a snapshot of the most recent and salient evidence from published research and grey literature, as relevant to children and young people living in England in 2016. It addresses children and young people’s emotional and mental health difficulties as they manifest and are responded to, highlighting and exploring gender-related issues behind observed patterns across areas of mental health.

This rapid review presents evidence of clear gender differences in children and young people’s emotional and mental health, in terms of:

1. the general picture of children and young people’s emotional and mental health

2. the prevalence of specific difficulties and issues among children and young people

3. children and young people’s coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours

4. responses to children and young people’s emotional and mental health needs from parents and carers, schools, and public services

5. service responses to the needs of some particular groups of children and young people.