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Open Access Stress Disorders and Gender: Implications for Theory and Research

Les troubles de stress et l'appartenance sexuelle: les implications en matière de théorie et de recherche

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Numerous epidemiological studies report increased prevalence rates for women as compared to men for stress-related disorders such as acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major depressive disorder. Stress disorders disrupt work and home life and pose a high risk for suicide. Multiple factors contribute to the increased vulnerability in women. Physiological differences account for some of the differential. Other factors that make a significant contribution to the overall risk for health problems in response to stressors or trauma include the nature and meaning of the trauma, accessibility of resources, and restrictive diagnostic categories. Increasing our knowledge of the individual impact of each factor as well as the interactions among the factors is central to understanding the development of stress disorders. Comprehensive sex- and gender-sensitive middle-range theory, which explores the role of key factors identified in qualitative and quantitative research, is required. The authors discuss structural equation modelling as one method of theory testing.

De nombreuses études épidémiologiques signalent des taux de prévalence plus élevés chez les femmes, comparativement aux hommes, en ce qui a trait aux troubles liés au stress, tels que le trouble de stress aigu, le syndrome de stress posttraumatique et des troubles de dépression graves. Les troubles liés au stress entravent la capacité de travailler et de mener une vie familiale normale et augmentent le risque de suicide. La présence d'une plus grande vulnérabilité chez les femmes est liée à de multiples facteurs. Les différences physiologiques comptent parmi les indices différentiels. La nature et la signification du traumatisme, l'accessibilité des ressources et le recours à des catégories de diagnostic restrictives comptent parmi les facteurs qui augmentent, de façon significative, le risque de problème de santé à la suite de circonstances stressantes ou d'un traumatisme. Il est essentiel de mieux comprendre l'impact individuel de chaque facteur et les interactions inter factorielles pour mieux cerner le développement de troubles liés au stress. L'élaboration d'une théorie exhaustive des facteurs dynamiques-statiques tenant compte des rapports sociaux entre les sexes, qui explore le rôle de facteurs clés identifiés dans les recherches qualitatives et quantitatives, est essentielle. L'auteure discute de la modélisation axée sur l'équation structurelle comme méthode d'évaluation de théories.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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