204278 Buffering Effect of Neighborhood Social Cohesion on the Relationship between Racial Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms among African American Men

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Wizdom Powell Hammond, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Keon L. Gilbert, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Yasmin Cole-Lewis, BA , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Irene H. Yen, PhD , Department of Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, CA
Racial discrimination has been conceptualized as a biopsychosocial stressor that significantly increases African American men's risk for depression. Few studies have examined socio-contextual modifiers of the racial discrimination-depression relationship among this group. Neighborhood social cohesion is a socio-contextual factor shown to modify the effects of stress on mental health. The current study examines the stress-buffering role of neighborhood social cohesion on the relationship between racial discrimination, and depressive symptoms in a sample of 230 community-residing African American men (aged 18-78; M = 34 years) recruited from barbershops in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States in 2007 and 2008. The response rates were 85%. Participants completed measures assessing demographic factors, daily experiences with racism, and neighborhood social cohesion. We used the 12-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale to assess depressive symptoms. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between the study variables. African American men with more frequent racial discrimination experiences and those who reside in southern regions of the US reported more depressive symptoms (β = .32, p < .001). Results from the analysis assessing moderation effects indicate that when neighborhood cohesion is high, racial discrimination has no effect on depressive symptoms. However, when cohesion is low, increased experiences with racial discrimination are associated with increased depressive symptoms. In other words, our findings suggest that neighborhood social cohesion buffers African American men from the negative mental health effects of racial discrimination.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the impact of neighborhood social cohesion on depressive symptoms Describe the relationship between neighborhood social cohesion, racial discrimination, and depressive symptoms among African American men Articulate multi-level strategies for decreasing African American men's depressive symptoms related to racial discrimination

Keywords: Depression, Male Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The data analyzed in this study were collected as part of the African American Men's Health and Social Life Study. I serve as the Principal Investigator of this study, and I am responsible for the data analysis/data collection associated with this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.