Title page for ETD etd-04222005-163314

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Harris, Jennifer M.
Author's Email Address jeharri1@vt.edu
URN etd-04222005-163314
Title A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experience and Understanding of Depression within a Sample of Young, Single, Latter-day Saint Women
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stith, Sandra M. Committee Chair
Huebner, Angela J. Committee Member
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Member
  • phenomenology
  • qualitative
  • culture
  • depression
  • LDS
  • women
Date of Defense 2005-04-20
Availability unrestricted
Depression is the black plague of the 21st Century, affecting twice as many women as men, and continuing to increase among the younger generations. Little research has been conducted looking at single, young adults with depression. In addition, more research is needed to look at how culture influences the struggle with depression. With both the prevalence of depression in young women increasing and the membership of the LDS Church on the rise, it is crucial that clergy and clinicians alike better understand the experience of young, single, LDS women struggling with depression. This study is a qualitative exploration of six young, single, LDS women’s struggle with depression. Six young (24-31 years old), single, white, active LDS women living in the Washington DC metropolitan area participated in 60 to 90 minute long interviews. Using a qualitative method and phenomenological perspective this study describes what an episode of depression is like for, and how it is understood by, young, single, LDS women. Themes identified from the women’s interviews included identifying that something was not quite right/ something was going wrong, faith attempts, internalizing and blaming self, awareness of the depression, reaching out, spreading the word, and lessons learned. Several of these themes corroborate with current literature about the experience of depression, while others are unique to these women. In addition to these themes, the poignant role of the LDS culture in these women’s experience of struggling with depression is discussed.


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