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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steve C. Lee, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book is an organized survey of the state-of-the-art of women's mental health research. The structure is quite deliberate beginning with an overview of issues divided into development, culture, and stress. The remaining bulk of the book is divided into four sections that follow these issues chronologically by life cycle as the title suggests. Commentaries are included following or preceding certain sections.
Purpose: The purpose is to shed light on the research done so far in this field. It also sets out to be an impetus for further research. Evidently, there are many sorely understudied areas in the field of women's mental health as the prototypical object of research has been the Caucasian male.
Audience: This book is intended for all mental health professionals, whether in training or practicing, and general health students. Although a myriad of researchers are involved in the authorship, the book maintains a fairly consistent tone which should be palatable for most readers.
Features: Most chapters begin with a cursory but helpful historical perspective of the material. The authors for the most part are remarkably thorough. They do a commendable job of reviewing the literature, presenting current controversies, and suggesting future directions. This is all achieved in a well organized structure. References are conveniently cited at the end of each chapter.
Assessment: This book fulfills its purpose successfully. For those interested in the area of women's mental health, it will likely spark further interest and inquiry into the literature available. Well-written and well-organized, this book is amenable to future focused reading.