Online Program

Race differences in depression: A life course perspective

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gniesha Dinwiddie, PhD, African American Studies Department, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
The objective is to examine the factors associated with race differences in depression over the life course. Longitudinal data from the 1986-2001 Americans' Changing Lives Study was used to explore race differences in depression using multi-level growth models. Level 1 predictors included time varying covariates such as parental stress, financial stress, life events, marital status, educational attainment, income, age, diabetes, BMI and high blood pressure. Race and sex were entered at level 2. Findings show although depression wanes over time, African Americans (B=0.459; p<.001) experience higher levels of depression compared to Whites over the life course. Race differences in depression were explained by parental (B=0.128; p<.001) and financial stress (B=0.125). Educational attainment (B= -0.062; p<0.001), marital status (B= -0.158; p<.-.001), and overweight (B= -0.105) were inversely related to depression. Men had lower depression than women (B= -0.187; p<.001) and interactions show strong evidence that sex differences in depression depend on parental stress. Implications of findings suggest interventions for reducing stress endemic to racial and female populations are imperative for reducing heath disparities and improving population health.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the stressors, health states and socioeconomic statuses associated with differences in depression over the life course for African Americans and Whites in the United States.

Keyword(s): Depression, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an expert in the area of mental health disparities and have been the principle investigator on two funded grants focused on identifying the factors implicated in race/ethnic determinants of depression and cardiovascular disease.
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.