Project Documents

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Tevni Grajales

Third Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Abstract

Problem

This exploratory and descriptive study addresses depression as experienced by a sample of Hispanic pastors' wives Studies on Seventh-day Adventist ministers have shown they are vulnerable to depression and Hispanic ministers’ wives are not exempt from this reality. Women tend to be more prone than men to depression, because of biological, social, and cultural factors. In addition, ministers’ wives experience other church-related pressures that increase depression.

Method

The method known as handpicked sampling was used for this investigation. It consisted of the selection of a sample of Hispanic pastors’ wives that had experience in pastoral work, with the purpose of discovering the causes of depression in them and how it affected their families and spouses’ ministries. A questionnaire was used to uncover the causes of depression and strategies were developed to help ministers’ wives deal with depression in a healthy way.

Results

As a result of this investigation the two proposed objectives were achieved. First, several causes of depression were identified in this group, which are similar to those found in previous investigations among pastors’ wives in other Christian denominations. The main causes of depression found in this sample are: loneliness as the most important; followed by unrealistic expectations; then difficulty in establishing good relationships and spiritual and economic problems. Furthermore, this study revealed that seventy-five percent of these women had been depressed during their pastoral experience.

Conclusions

The Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist ministers’ wives sampled, have experienced depression during their pastoral experience. Knowing the causes is vital for taking the proper measures to prevent depressive episodes. It can also be useful to avoid relapses and help the patient to be free from depression by using prescribed drugs combined with a healthy lifestyle and, psychotherapy. This also requires the collaboration of the patient, the support of the husband, immediate family members and friends.

Subject Area

Spouses of clergy; Seventh-day Adventists--Hispanic American clergy; Hispanic American clergy; Depression, Mental; Depression in women

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