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Jean Hamilton

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience
Psychology & Neuroscience
Box 90085, Durham, NC 27708-0085
309 Soc-Psych, Durham, NC 27708


Research Interests

1. Depressive Illness (Major Depression, MDD)

A. Women and Prevention of Recurrent  Depression

B. Psychology of Women's Health

C. "Energy Depletion Theory" of Women's Global Excess of Depression

D. "Matriarchal Studies"/Cross-cultural Psychology

2. Social Psychology of Intrinsic Motivation

A. Positive Psychology and Women's Lives

B. Neurobiology of "Flow"

3. Applications of "Non-linear Dynamics" (a.k.a. Methods from Chaos or Complexity Theory) and "General Evolution Theory" to Health

A. "Integral Health" and Healing (which encompasses Integrative, Behavioral, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM; as well as Health Psychology and Psychiatry)

B. Psychology of Choosing Sustainable Ways of Living ("Sustainability Studies")

More specifically, my current interests include: 1) understanding depressions, especially those in women, by studies a) that emerge from my new "bioenergetic depletion” theory of health, an interdisciplinary, cultural and sociobiological theory which links, e.g., the excess of depression in women compared to men to women's (literally) "doing too much" (as assessed, for example, by the UN/WHO's objective indicators of "gender inequality" and by subjective measures of "unequal, gender ideology"); b) that focus on helping girls and women to better reclaim and replenish our/their energy and to better “highlight” positive experiences in our/their lives; and c) that document the potential negative effects of commonplace life events (such as gender stigmatization and discrimination) -- e.g., "objectification experiences" -- on energy depletion, allosteric stress, and health; 2) extending the uses of social neuroscience and social psychophysiology in studying health effects and correlates of psychological processes, e.g., by studies a) that explore the neurobiological underpinnings of what social psychologists term "intrinsic motivation"; and b) that build upon her hypothesis that enhancing intrinsic motivation -- just having more fun for its own sake – will help to renew energy and enhance health in girls and women; and 3) learning about special aspects of positive psychology and “therapeutic recreation” in women’s lives using, e.g., focus-group methodology and innovative group processes based on collaborative learning theory.

Clinical Interests
These include the practice of psychiatry, behavioral medicine and clinical health psychology in a small private setting; one focus of the practice is on developing innovative group activities and thereby enhancing self-care and energy replenishment in women. (She also practices "feminist" psychodynamic, psychotherapy-based psychiatry/psychopharmacology, but mainly does so at low-fee, public clinics in the summer.)

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience · 2009 - Present Psychology & Neuroscience, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Texas, San Antonio · 1977 MD./PhD.