Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Epidemiological studies on mental health indicate that nearly one third to one half of American population experience psychological distress that might be diagnosed as a mental disorder at some time during their lifetimes. Despite the fact that there are similarities between women and men in terms of mental health, experiences of women and men significantly differ from each other in this area. The aim of this entry is to examine mental health and illness issues specifically from women's perspectives. Lirst, conceptualization of mental health and disorders are examined from feminist frameworks, and the influence of gender on these will be discussed. Next, occurrence rates for specific disorders are examined, considering possible gender-related differences. Linally, feminist frameworks in the context of understanding women's health are presented. Definition of mental health changes dramatically across time and culture. Legal and medical definitions of mental illness are revised over time. The most recent (fourth) ...