Major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder were markedly greater in females, who earned less than their male counterparts with equivalent education and years of experience.
According to a research conducted at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the odds that an American woman was diagnosed with depression in the past year are nearly twice that of men.
However, this disparity looks very different when accounting for the wage gap: among women whose income was lower than their male counterparts, the odds of major depression were nearly 2.5 times higher than men; but among women whose income equaled or exceeded their male counterparts, their odds of depression were no different than men.
Researcher Jonathan Platt said that their results show that some of the gender disparities in depression and anxiety may be due to the effects of structural gender inequality in the workforce and beyond.
He added that the social processes that sort women into certain jobs, compensate them less than equivalent male counterparts and create gender disparities in domestic labor have material and psychosocial consequences.
Platt further said that if women internalise these negative experiences as reflective of inferior merit, rather than the result of discrimination, they may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety disorders.
The study is published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.