Jean Hamilton

Jean Hamilton

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

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


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.)

Hamilton, JA, Yeates, M, and Russo, NF. "The Energy Depletion Theory of the Excess of Depression Among Women (Submitted)." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (2005). (Academic Article)

Lu, MC, Lange, L, Slusser, W, Hamilton, J, and Halfon, N. "Provider encouragement of breast-feeding: evidence from a national survey." Obstetrics and Gynecology 97.2 (February 2001): 290-295. Full Text

Gartrell, N, Banks, A, Ree, N, Rodas, C, and Deck, A. "The National Lesbian Family Study:3. Interviews with mothers of five-year-olds." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 70.4 (2000): 542-548. (Academic Article)

Gartrell, , N, , Banks, , A, , Hamilton, , and al, JAE. "The National Lesbian Family Study:2. Interviews with Mothers of Toddlers." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 69.3 (1999): 362-369. (Academic Article)

Hamilton, JA. "Effects of sex and steroid hormones on pharmacokinetics." Journal of Women'S Health 5.3 (January 1, 1996): 239-241. Full Text

Gartrell, , N, , Hamilton, , A, J, Banks, , and al, AE. "The National Lesbian Family Study: I. Interviews with prospective mothers." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 66.2 (1996): 272-281. (Academic Article)

Hamilton, JA. ""Going to extremes" (Special Issue "In Sickness and in Health")." Women's Review of Books XI.10-11 (July 1994): 15-16. (Academic Article)

Jensvold, MF, Hamilton, JA, and Mackey, B. "Inclusion of women in clinical trials: How about the woman scientists?." Journal of the American Medical Women's Association 49 (1994): 110-112. (Academic Article)

Shuman, , W, D, Hamilton, , A, J, Daley, , E, C, and al, E. "The health effects of jury service." Law and Psychology Review, (a University of Alabama Law Review) 18 (1994): 267-307. (Academic Article)

Hamilton, JA, and Halbreich, U. "Special aspects of neuropsychiatric illness in women: With a focus on depression." Annual Review of Medicine 44 (1993): 355-364. (Academic Article)


Hamilton, JA, and Russo, NF. "Women and depression: Research, theory, and social policy." Women and Depression: A Handbook for the Social, Behavioral, and Biomedical Sciences. January 1, 2006. 479-522. Full Text

Selected Grants

Models of Personality, Health and Disease awarded by National Institutes of Health (Research Associate). 1995 to 2001