The contexts for managing depression and its stigma among black West Indian Canadian women

J Adv Nurs. 1998 Mar;27(3):510-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1998.00549.x.


There is a paucity of literature available to assist nurses and other care providers in knowing how to meet the needs of depressed women from non-dominant cultural backgrounds. To begin to address this need, we conducted a grounded theory study on black West Indian Canadian Women's strategies for managing depression. We discovered a basic social process, Being Strong, that the women used to manage or ameliorate depression. Being strong occurs within the overlapping areas of three social contexts: the cultural stigma of depression, male-female roles and relationships, and belief in Christian doctrine. These contexts are located against a backdrop of visible minority status within a eurocentric society. This socio-cultural contextual material provides the setting within which black West Indian Canadian women live and make decisions. In this article, we present findings related to the social and cultural aspects of the women's situation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Canada
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Depression* / ethnology
  • Depression* / nursing
  • Depression* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Stereotyping*
  • West Indies / ethnology