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Special Issue: Women's Health

Deadline: 30 September 2019

Editorial Information

Guest Editor:
Kristina S. Brown, PhD, LMFT

Journal Editor:
Joyce Baptist, PhD, LCMFT

Journal of Feminist Family Therapy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) estimates that 13.4% of women over the age of 18 are in “fair or poor health” according to the Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/womens-health.htm. Drug and alcohol use, lack of physical activity, smoking, obesity, and hypertension were some of the cited issues of specific concern with leading causes of death for women being heart disease, cancer, and stroke. In addition to these general issues of health, there are diseases and conditions that predominantly (or only) present in biological women. The US Department of Health and Human Services describes pregnancy and menopause to gynecological conditions including, for example, menstrual irregularities, urinary tract health, miscarriage, abortion, and breastfeeding as well as disorders related to infertility including polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis; “Other disorders and conditions that affect only women include Turner Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, and ovarian and cervical cancers” (https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/womenshealth/conditioninfo/whatconditions). Women’s health concerns also include issues like intimate partner violence as well as sexual harassment and assault, and gendered experiences of disability. According to the United Nations, “persistence of certain cultural, legal, and institutional barriers makes women and girls with disabilities the victims of two-fold discrimination: as women and as persons with disabilities” (https://www.un.org/womenwatch/enable/).

The medical care provided for these varieties of health issues – both common and unique to women – often does not address the impact on the couple and family. Additionally, access issues to both health insurance and actual care are rampant, especially when, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “compared to men, women use more health care services and pay more for them as a proportion of their income” (https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/wpallimport/files/iwpr-export/publications/A114.pdf). Women also tend to predominantly facilitate health care for their family systems, i.e., making appointments for partners and children or filling the role as primary care-giver for parents, partners, children, extended family and friends. These issues of impact, access, and facilitation extend to mental health care. Sexual and gender identity often exacerbate obstacles. Research on women’s health issues frequently exclude experiences of transgender men, non-binary, or gender non-conforming identities.

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Submission Information

The aim of this issue is to highlight all women’s health presentations including physiological and mental changes across the lifespan highlighting the mental health perspective and experience of the patient/client and the systems in which they exist including clinical application that applies feminist approaches for treatment. The World Health Organization (WHO) finds that “gender is a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness” (https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/). WHO reports that depression, anxiety, and somatic disorders are more commonly found in women with depression cited as the most common women’s mental health problem. Submitted articles, for example, can focus on conditions that are only found in women, more prevalent in women, or how common conditions such as cancer or diabetes uniquely impact women. All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Kristina S. Brown, Guest Editor (kbrown@adler.edu). Deadline for submissions to this special issues is September 30, 2019.

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