This study describes gender-specific beliefs about depression among Afghan refugees, a population shown to be highly distressed. A 73-item questionnaire covering causes, symptoms, and treatments of depression, developed through free-listing techniques and supplemented with items from existing scales, was administered to a non-random sample of 50 men and 43 women in San Diego County. Demographic information and data on baseline distress levels were also collected. The Cultural Consensus Model was used to estimate the culturally correct answer for each question, and to assess the proportion of shared beliefs within and between groups. Results from consensus analysis indicated a homogenous response pattern present for each group, and collectively when groups were combined. The proportion of shared beliefs across all depression domains was significantly (p < .05) higher among women (.52) than in men (.46). Women also reported significantly higher agreement in terms of depression causality (women = .54, men = .42). Equal agreement (.45) was observed in groups regarding symptoms. Items relating to treatments were the most widely recognized by men (.53) and women (.57); however, significant differences in agreement were not observed. Results did not vary by demographic characteristics or by distress experiences for either group. Causes were associated with cultural conflicts and social isolation; women classified more somatic items, and both groups believed that treatments for depression included seeking professional help as well as lay techniques such as engaging in religious activities and exercise. Understanding cultural beliefs about depression among Afghan refugees could provide insights into the cultural and social reasons that influence help-seeking behaviors and the presentation of depressive symptoms in clinical settings, in turn, leading to improvements in service provision and depression care.
Social Policy and Social Research
Social Work and Social Ecology
School of Behavioral Health
Weller, Susan C.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Refugees - Psychology; Afghanistan;
Subject - Local
Afghan Refugees, Depression, Cultural Consensus Model of Depression, San Diego, Calif.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Alemi, Qais, "Cultural Consensus Model of Depression Beliefs Among Afghan Refugees" (2013). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 111.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives