This qualitative study aimed to explore the constructions of childhood depression as portrayed in South African women's interest magazines. Departing from a postmodern paradigm and utilising a social constructionist framework, these magazines were regarded as part of larger mass media discourses on childhood depression. The magazines contribute to the construction of 'truths' about childhood depression in its audience. To explore the research question, three of the highest circulating magazines in South Africa containing texts related to childhood depression were identified. The magazines were aimed not only at women, but at both English- and Afrikaans-speaking women, and at African, Caucasian, and possibly Coloured women. The hardcopies of these magazines were sourced from the publisher for a period of approximately two years each. A total of 20 articles that spoke to childhood depression were identified in these magazines. Two forms of analysis were used in a mutually enriching and recursive manner. The contextual analysis allowed an enriched insight into the context of the articles. The thematic analysis gave way to themes and subthemes to emerge. It was found that although perceptions in these articles were most often in line with professional psychological knowledge, at times it failed to speak to uniquely South African concerns regarding childhood depression, and often reified problematic discourses. It was concluded that mass media may be a powerful tool to employ by government organisations, health professionals, and social scientists, to address problematic mental health discourses in South Africa.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.