Although it is well-documented that women are more likely than men to use prescribed psychotropic drugs, there are conflicting explanations of this pattern. The purpose of this paper is to examine this sex difference in relation to three theoretical perspectives: the sex-role theory, social support theory, and stress theory. Data from the National Medical Care Expenditure Survey confirm that women were more likely than men to obtain a psychotropic drug. The data also showed that for both men and women, the likelihood of obtaining a psychotropic drug is influenced by family role responsibilities, family structure, and stressful events. However, women had a significantly higher likelihood of use than men under similar family circumstances. When sociodemographic and health-status/access-to-care variables were controlled, the association for men between family cirucumstances and obtaining a psychotropic drug disappeared. For women, however, certain family role responsibilities, structures, and stressful events significantly affected likelihood of obtaining a psychotropic drug even when sociodemographic and health-status/access-to-care variables were controlled.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health