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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2015 Jun;2(2):200-10. doi: 10.1007/s40615-014-0064-9. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

Race Attribution Modifies the Association Between Daily Discrimination and Major Depressive Disorder Among Blacks: the Role of Gender and Ethnicity.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5295, USA. assari@umich.edu.
2
Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2029, USA. assari@umich.edu.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5295, USA.
4
School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 South University Ave, Ann Arbor, MU, 48109-1106, USA.
5
Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2029, USA.
6
Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2029, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although the association between discrimination and depression among Blacks is well-known, we do not know if this effect is influenced by race attribution. In this current study, we investigated the effect modification of race attribution on the association between everyday discrimination and major depressive disorder (MDD) among Blacks in the United States, and whether this effect modification is influenced by the intersection of ethnicity and gender.

METHODS:

With a cross-sectional design, this study used data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), 2001-2003. The study included a nationally representative sample of Blacks (nā€‰=ā€‰5,008), composed of 3,570 African Americans and 1,438 Caribbean Blacks. Everyday discrimination, two single-item measures of race attribution (race as the major barrier against upward social mobility, and race as the main cause for being discriminated against) and 12-month MDD were measured. In the first step, we fit logistic regressions to the pooled sample. In the next step, we ran regressions specific to the intersections of ethnicity and gender. Interaction between race attribution and discrimination were also entered into the models.

RESULTS:

Among Caribbean Black men, the belief that race is a major barrier against one's own upward social mobility modified the association between exposure to daily discrimination and MDD. In this group, the association between discrimination and MDD was weaker among those who believed that race is a major barrier against one's own upward social mobility. Race attribution did not modify the association between discrimination and MDD among African American men, African American women, and Caribbean Black women. The other measure of race attribution (race as the main cause of being discriminated against) did not modify the association between discrimination and MDD in any ethnicity by gender subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among Caribbean Black men, the link between everyday discrimination and depression may depend on seeing race as the main barrier against upward social mobility. Among African American men and women, however, the link between discrimination and MDD does not depend on race attribution. Our results suggest that ethnicity, gender, and race attribution may alter the association between discrimination and risk of MDD among Blacks.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; Discrimination; Ethnicity; Gender; Race attribution

PMID:
26863338
DOI:
10.1007/s40615-014-0064-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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