247411 Relationship between Racial Discrimination and Socioeconomic Position upon Depression among a U.S. Representative Sample of Caribbean Blacks

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Darrell L. Hudson, MPH, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Tod Hamilton, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
While an estimated 8% of the US-black population is foreign-born, with Caribbean immigrants as the largest subgroup, heterogeneity within the black population is often ignored. Additionally, we know very little about the effects of racial discrimination on risk of depression among Caribbean Blacks, but racial discrimination has been identified as an important predictor of depression among African Americans. The objective of this paper was to investigate the influence of racial discrimination upon the relationship between SEP and depression among Caribbean Blacks. We used data from the National Survey of American Life, a nationally-representative sample of African Americans (n=3,570) and Caribbean Blacks (n=1,691), to examine the joint interactive effects of SEP and racial discrimination upon odds of depression. We examined two dimensions of self-reported perceptions of racial discrimination: 1) everyday discrimination, which captures chronic discriminatory experiences; and 2) major discriminatory events, which captures acute discriminatory experiences. SEP was measured by reported years of education and household income. We found that as reports of racial discrimination increased, greater levels of income were significantly associated with increased risk of depression among US-born Caribbean Blacks, which was the same pattern of association observed in African Americans (p=0.05). Although racial discrimination was associated with increased odds of depression, there were no significant interactions between SEP and racial discrimination observed in foreign-born Caribbean Blacks. Evidence garnered from this study suggests that experiences of racial discrimination could diminish the protective effects of increased levels of SEP among US-born Caribbean Blacks.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe heterogeneity in the U.S. black population and ethnic differences in mental health status. 2)Desribe how racial discrimination is a significant factor in the prediction of depression in Caribbean blacks and African Americans.

Keywords: African American, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a highly trained researcher who has conducted work in this area for a number of years.
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.