Depression Plagues Black Men at Both Ends of Job Ladder

March 9, 2011  |  

(Health Behavior News Services) — Jobless African-American men might be at a greater risk of suffering from depression, new research shows. More surprising, at the other end of the income spectrum, African-American men making $80,000 and upward are also among those at higher risk.  For women, the picture is different: those in the $45,000 to $79,999 income bracket are less likely to report symptoms of depression compared to women with the least income, according to the results of a national survey of mental disorders among African-Americans.

Darrell Hudson, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed data from the National Survey of American Life to determine how factors related to social class like income, education, wealth, employment status, mother’s education and marital status relate to depression.  “After measuring depression in a very comprehensive way, the results were not very consistent. We need to figure out as a general public: Is there a cost associated with socioeconomic position or moving in an upward trajectory?” said Hudson, at the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of San Francisco.  In all, researchers assessed the nationally representative sample of 3,570 African American men and women for depressive episodes that occurred within the past year and over their lifetimes. The study appears online in the journalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

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