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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Cindy L. Gilbert, MSW, LSW (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book brings together a collection of studies and papers analyzing differences between the sexes on a variety of issues from age at onset to course to symptomology of numerous psychiatric disorders. Weighted heavily in the area of affective disorders, this text includes only two articles on psychotic disorders and these both focus on schizophrenia. The editor also includes a section on gender-based differences in substance abuse. The book is rife with tables and figures of varying use.
Purpose: Dr. Frank strives to present a complete synthesis of the work that has been done on gender differences in psychopathology. The articles selected provide readers with a solid introduction on gender differences. Having such a volume on hand would be quite useful to students and practitioners at all levels.
Audience: While the editor does not overtly discuss audience, the content would suggest that this book is intended for graduate-level students as well as practitioners. Dr. Frank's credentials are impressive and her own contributions to the volume suggest considerable knowledge of the topic.
Features: The text is arranged in four sections: Etiological Mechanisms; Mood and Anxiety Disorders; Schizophrenia; and Substance Abuse and Dependence. Mood disorders get the most attention here, with articles focusing on changes at puberty in rates of depression, differences in response to treatment, and the role of anxiety in depression for women and men. Schizophrenia is addressed in only two articles. One of these is difficult to follow and cluttered with a table or figure for every variable, however ancillary. The lack of information about schizophrenia may be due to an overall lack of information about and understanding of schizophrenia in general. Each article is extremely well referenced, and the book contains a useful index.
Assessment: Dr. Frank has brought together a good representation of the current thinking on gender differences in psychopathology. Students seeking straightforward material on this subject and professionals looking for a starting point for their own research would do well to have this volume on hand.