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Traditional Roles of Kuwaiti Females and Level of Depression

As El-Islam and associates put it:

. . .interpersonal disagreements [in families]. . .arise between those who adhere to the traditions of the indigenous Arab culture in Kuwait and those who accept the more liberal attitudes conveyed by Western culture. (p.109)

The authors state that the greater the degree of family conflict over the female role, the greater the likelihood that family females would suffer from depressive illness. What is needed in order to understand these findings is a model that explains how conflict over role can lead to depressive illness.

Depressive Illness and Female Role in Kuwaiti Society: An Explanative Model

Al-Thakeb (1985) has reported that the traditional role of the Kuwait female is one in which she is under the authority of both her parents and her husband. Identifying with her strong family and kinship ties, the traditionally oriented female allows her parents to select her husband who, after marriage, has dominion over the decisions that shape both his life, her life, and their children's lives.

This notion of the traditional role is echoed by El-Islam (1983) who reports that:

. . .in Arabian culture a hierarchial order is maintained in the family in which the dominance of the male over female and o


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