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Aging Ment Health. 2013;17(6):732-7. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2013.777394. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Association of socio-demographic factors and parental education with depressive symptoms among older African Americans and Caribbean Blacks.

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  • 1Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine ethnic variation in the relationship between individual socio-demographic factors, parental educational level, and late-life depressive symptoms in older African Americans and Caribbean Blacks.


This cross-sectional study used data from the National Survey of American Life. A subsample of older African Americans (N = 837) and Caribbean Blacks (N = 271) was analyzed using multiple regression analysis.


Findings suggest differences in predictors of depressive symptoms for the two ethnic groups. Among older African Americans, lower educational attainment and lower income were predictive risk factors for higher depressive symptoms. Findings among older Caribbean Blacks suggest that nativity and income were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. This study did not find support for any association between parental education and late-life depressive symptoms.


This study adds new information by considering ethnic variation in an examination of depressive symptoms in older Black Americans. The results contribute to the growing awareness of the older Caribbean Black population in the United States.

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