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Psicologia Clínica

Print version ISSN 0103-5665On-line version ISSN 1980-5438


SANTOS, Luciana da Silva  and  DINIZ, Gláucia Ribeiro Starling. Mental health of housewives: a feminist-phenomenological-existential perspective. Psicol. clin. [online]. 2018, vol.30, n.1, pp. 37-59. ISSN 0103-5665.

There are many aspects that can affect women's mental health. There are biological specificities and, mainly, social aspects that point to an undeniable gender difference in the incidence and prevalence of psychic illness. The objective of this study was to understand the mental health conditions of women who are homemakers and to identify factors that may be the cause of illnesses arising from their relationships with themselves (Eigenwelt), with others (Umwelt) and with their environment (Mitwelt) based on a feminist-phenomenological-existential perspective. In this exploratory research interviews with ten women, who are exclusively housewives, married with children were performed. The Discourse Analysis found three categories: 1) Domestic place, (in)visibility and lack value; 2) (Un)loving relationships and its consequences and 3) Housewives: owners of their own lives? The results show that the work of housewives, performed in private and unpaid, is seen as unproductive and therefore is devalued. Housewives face a lack of economic autonomy and a lack of family recognition, therefore, they also have difficulties in recognizing their own value, affecting the way of being in the world, which enhances the commitment of their mental health.

Keywords : housewives; mental health; phenomenology; existentialism.

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