Validity and utility of the Comprehensive Assessment of School Environment (CASE) survey
The concept of self-silencing was originally developed by Jack (1991) to explain cultural influences on how women should behave within their interpersonal relationships and why women are more likely to than men to experience clinically relevant levels of depression. Jack and Dill (1992) created the Silencing the Self Scale (STSS), which consists of four subscales, to test their hypotheses regarding gender differences in self-silencing and depression. Research has shown that there is a common link between self-silencing and depression among women (Gratch, Bassett, & Attra, 1995; Uebelacker, Courtnage, & Whissman, 2003; Whiffen, Foot, & Thompson, 2007). The relationship between self-silencing and depression has been more difficult to explain amongst men. Previous studies have found gender acted as a moderator between self-silencing, specifically on the Care as Self-Sacrifice subscale (CSS) of the STSS, and depression. The current study attempted to replicate and explain the moderation effect found in Lutz-Zois et al. (2013). Participants (N= 135) completed six measures including three measures to examine self-silencing behaviors, as well as a depression measure and relationship satisfaction measure. The results indicated no significant interaction between gender and scores on the CSS. A moderated-mediation model was constructed to understand potential relationships between the CSS, gender, relationship satisfaction, and depression. However, the interactions predicted within the model were not significant. Researchers have hypothesized that men self-silence for different reasons than women, such that self-silencing can help establish control and power within their relationship or to avoid experiencing unpleasant emotions (Smolak, 2010; Remen, Chambless & Rodebaugh, 2002). Therefore, this researcher constructed two additional measures using items on the STSS in attempt to identify under what specific conditions do men self-silence. I hypothesized that gender would act as a moderator between depression and self-silencing with regard to conflicts on topics that are seen as unimportant. However, this interaction was not found. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a main effect for both genders for depression and self-silencing with regard to conflicts on topics that are seen as important. This main effect was not significant. The results of this study suggest additional research should be completed to further our understanding about gender differences in relation to self-silencing and depression.