and the Epidemiology
MYRNA M. WEISSMAN
GERALD L. KLERMAN
A frequent observation in epidemiologic studies of depression is that women preponderate. Observations of a sex difference in the frequency of any disease attracts attention and stimulates explanations. Depression has recently gained the attention of biologists, sociologists, feminists, and the educated public. Is it a "true" finding that women are more prone to depression? Or are the observations the result of confounding factors in case reporting or the organization of the health care system? If the finding is "real," what processes, biological or psychosocial, can best explain the differences?
The topic is timely for a number of reasons. All aspects of women's roles are currently under scrutiny. Demographic changes in the past century have increased longevity for women more than for men. However, while these changes have resulted in a larger population of____________________