Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School


Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, PhD

Committee Member

Michelle Byrd, PhD

Committee Member

Natalie Dove, PhD


Sex differences in major depressive disorder have been a consistent research finding, with women receiving a diagnosis nearly twice as often as men. A substantive amount of research has attempted to address this preponderance. One area that warrants further investigation is the role that gender, a social construct that, in part, refers to the degree to which one enacts traditionally masculine and/or feminine traits, may play in mediating the relationship between sex and depressive symptoms. Secondary data analysis was conducted using a previously collected sample of undergraduate students from a moderately sized Midwestern university. Measures include the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ), the Center for Epidemiological Studies—Depression Scale (CES-D), and a demographic form used to assess self-reported expression of gender traits, depressive symptoms, and sex, respectively. Results of the present study indicate that masculinity and femininity mediate the relationship between sex and self-reported depressive symptoms.

Included in

Psychology Commons