Clara O. Benneh, Samuel Atindanbila, Samuel Owusu-Akyem, Elizabeth A. Issaka


This study aims at exploring the differences in the social factors that pre-dispose men and women to depression. The study employed a qualitative research approach where in- depth interview techniques were employed with a sample of 60 participants (30 males and 30 females) from the Accra and Pantang Psychiatric Hospitals in Ghana. The results were analyzed qualitatively from gender perspectives using the Constant Comparative Approach of the grounded theory. The results of this study showed that the major source of social causes depression emanate from experiences associated with the dynamics of marriage. While experiences within conjugal relationships presents the greatest challenges to women that of men rested on experiences as a result of breakdown of conjugal relationships. Moreover, in contrast to the theory of learned hopelessness known to be associated with depression, respondents in this study showed extreme degrees of hopefulness based on a strong belief of divine intervention. The study advocates for better understanding of the unique nature of the social causes of depression among men and women in order to provide resources that can help in developing and implementing sustainable strategies to prevent its occurrences and mitigate its effects on households and communities.


Conjugal relationships, learned helplessness, depression, social determinants, psychiatric hospitals.

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