May girls depressed men

Gender differences in depression

Depression is more common in women than in men - scientists have known this for decades. A team of researchers led by Rachel Salk from the University of Pittsburgh has now taken a closer look at this gender difference in two comprehensive meta-analyzes and has compiled extensive findings. The scientists published their results in the journal »Psychological Bulletin«.

Overall, Salk and her colleagues analyzed the data from more than 3.5 million people from over 90 different countries. Their results confirm once again: Overall, on average, about twice as many women as men suffer from depression. “Even so, we shouldn't consider the disorder a woman's disease. A third of those affected are men, ”says study author Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This article is contained in Spectrum Compact, Depression - Ways out of the Dark

This gender difference shows up earlier than many scientists previously assumed: significantly more girls than boys are affected even among the twelve-year-olds. So far, experts have assumed that the differences in the incidence of the disease only become apparent between the ages of 13 and 15, according to the researchers.

They suspect that the equilibrium shifts towards female patients, especially with the onset of puberty. Both hormonal and social factors could be responsible for this. However, since the researchers did not examine any participants who were younger than twelve years of age, it would even be possible that the gender gap could begin to make its way even earlier. Overall, the data show that girls and boys, especially between 13 and 16 years of age, differ most clearly in terms of their incidence of the disease. With the entry into adulthood, the difference becomes a little smaller again.

Surprisingly, these gender differences appear to be particularly pronounced in countries in which men and women live particularly equally and earn similarly high incomes. Here women are once again more likely to develop severe depression than men. In contrast, there were no additional differences in other forms of depressive moods.