Hijab and Depression: Does the Islamic Practice of Veiling Predict Higher Levels of Depressive Symptoms?

David Hodge, Altaf Husain, Tarek Zidan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hijab or veiling is commonly practiced by Muslim women but remains controversial in the broader secular society. SomeWestern feminists argue that veiling is an oppressive behavior that negatively affects women by, for example, engendering depression. This article tests this hypothesis with a national sample of American Muslim women (N = 194). The results of the regression analysis did not support the hypothesis. Indeed, women who veiled more frequently reported lower, rather than higher, levels of depressive symptoms. In other words, wearing the hijab appears to be a protective factor in the area of depression. Given the prevalence of depression among women, the results have important implications for practice with Muslim women at both the micro and the macro levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Work (United States)
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Keywords

  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • depression
  • hijab
  • veiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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