The Experience of Depression for Chipewyan and Euro-Canadian Northern Women
McLean, Lynne Maureen
Is the experience of depression the same for Chipewyan and Euro-Canadian Northern women, in terms of cause, context, and meaning? Research was conducted with Chipewyan and Euro-Canadian Northern women. Resources did not allow for investigation of more than one Dene cultural group. A mixed qualitative-quantitative approach was used, involving grounded theory, chi-square, Fisher's Exact test, and multidimensional scaling. This research process has involved: 1. interviewing Chipewyan and Euro-Canadian Northern women; 2. free association of depression themes by such women when reading Chipewyan and Euro-Canadian interview transcripts; 3. sorting of the themes into construct groups by Native and Euro-Canadian mental health practitioners. It appeared that the majority of aspects, of the depression experience for these two cultural groups was similar, suggesting functional equivalence of the depression phemomenon. The importance of social disconnection in the role of depression was mentioned by both cultural groups. Differences between the two groups concerned the possibly greater emphasis on spirituality and harmony for mental health for the Chipewyan women, different views of sources of help for depression, and differences in concern for confidentiality and stigma. A possible difference between the relative importance of social and intra-individual factors in depression for the two cultural groups was interpreted in light of self-critical and dependent depression type theory at the individual level of analysis and in light of individualistic/collectivistic theories at the cultural level of analysis. Ramifications for the treatment of depression with these two groups of Northern women were explored.