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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Second Advisor

Pine, Judith M. S.

Third Advisor

Young, Kathleen Z.


Depression and suicide rates have been and continue to be high in Hungary relative to other European countries. An investigation of cultural and social circumstances in Hungary that might exacerbate these rates needs to be undertaken to elucidate potential risk factors for these rates. This study investigated how four Hungarian women (both native and from immigrant families) living in the United States make sense of depression in their families with a particular focus on triggers. Data was gathered in the form of family stories about depression during interviews and analyzed using grounded theory analysis. In making sense of depression in their families these four women narrate stories of identity loss, a negative Hungarian worldview, and historical references to collective Hungarian traumas, drawing upon family stories in constructing a particular Hungarian Traumatic Cultural Identity in explaining origins for depression. The construction of this identity also provides therapeutic value as the women make sense of their and their family members’ depression. This study has important implications for mental health professionals in culturally-competent screening and diagnosis of both Hungarian immigrants and descendants suffering from depression in the United States.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Hungarian Americans--Risk factors--Suicidal behavior; Hungarian Americans--Suicidal behavior; Depressed persons--Hungary--Sociological aspects; Depressed persons--United States--Sociological aspects; Suicide--Risk factors--Hungary--Sociological aspects; Suicide--Risk factors--United States--Sociological aspects; Group identity--Sociological aspects

Geographic Coverage

Hungary; United States




masters theses




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