260724 Group Work Interventions Aimed at Reducing Depressive Symptoms and Enhancing Psychosocial Competence Among Black Women

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Lani Jones, MSW, PhD , School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Dorcey Applyrs, MPH , School of Public Health, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
Black women are considered to be at higher risk than their White counterparts for experiencing environmental, biological, and psychosocial risk factors that contribute to depression. Frequently their mental health treatment experiences are infused with undeniable acts of discrimination contributing to feelings of oppression and powerlessness. Research indicates the need for strengths-based mental health practice frameworks, such as psychosocial competence, that emphasize culturally congruent models of care.

This study examined the efficacy of a culturally congruent group treatment model, entitled ‘‘Claiming Your Connections'' (CYC) aimed at reducing depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and enhancing psychosocial competence (locus of control and active coping) among Black women. Fifty-eight Black women, recruited from community-based organizations in upstate New York, were randomly assigned to the 10- week, CYC intervention or a wait-list control group. Differences between groups were analyzed for the main effects of condition, time and interaction using random effects regression models. Post intervention, the CYC group reported a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and perceived stress. There were no statistically significant changes in these variables among the control group. The results of these findings offer preliminary data on the effectiveness of culturally congruent group interventions with Black women aimed at decreasing depressive symptoms and enhancing psychosocial competence.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) discuss the implications for reducing depression and enhancing psychosocial competence for Black women 2) describe strategies on how to develop interventions from a culturally specific framework, and 3) delineate how culturally responsive group interventions can be used as a mode for psychosocial and environmental empowerment.

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been funded by small grants and a federally funded grant to perform research on Black with with drug abuse and other clinical disorders. Among my scientific interest has been the development of culturally congruent mental health interventions.
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.