Urban-Rural Comparisons of Depressive Disorders in French Canada

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A field survey in French Canada confirmed the familiar finding that rural residents have lower rates of depression than metropolitan residents and showed that this difference remains even after allowing for sex, age, marital status, education, employment, and internal migration. However, no support was obtained for the hypothesis that the metropolitan sample was feeling less communally supported than the rural sample, and the rates in a small county center proved to be lower than in the rural area, not higher as would be predicted on the assumption that its life is urban. Finally, the rural-metropolitan differences proved to be concentrated in two minorities, the unemployed men and the unpartnered women, rather than spread widely. It is suggested for these reasons that the traditional urban-rural dichotomy may now be inappropriate for sociopsychiatric research.

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