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      Association Between Stressful Life Events and Depression; Intersection of Race and Gender

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          Abstract

          Although stressful life events (SLEs) and depression are associated, we do not know if the intersection of race and gender modifies the magnitude of this link. Using a nationally representative sample of adults in the USA, we tested if the association between SLE and major depressive episode (MDE) depends on the intersection of race and gender.

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          Most cited references 72

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          Racial/ethnic discrimination and health: findings from community studies.

          The authors review the available empirical evidence from population-based studies of the association between perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination and health. This research indicates that discrimination is associated with multiple indicators of poorer physical and, especially, mental health status. However, the extant research does not adequately address whether and how exposure to discrimination leads to increased risk of disease. Gaps in the literature include limitations linked to measurement of discrimination, research designs, and inattention to the way in which the association between discrimination and health unfolds over the life course. Research on stress points to important directions for the future assessment of discrimination and the testing of the underlying processes and mechanisms by which discrimination can lead to changes in health.
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            The Epidemiology of Social Stress

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              Prevalence and distribution of major depressive disorder in African Americans, Caribbean blacks, and non-Hispanic whites: results from the National Survey of American Life.

              Little is known about the relationship between race/ethnicity and depression among US blacks. To estimate the prevalence, persistence, treatment, and disability of depression in African Americans, Caribbean blacks, and non-Hispanic whites in the National Survey of American Life. A slightly modified adaptation of the World Health Organization World Mental Health version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. National household probability samples of noninstitutionalized African Americans, Caribbean blacks, and non-Hispanic whites in the United States conducted between February 2, 2001, and June 30, 2003. A total of 3570 African Americans, 1621 Caribbean blacks, and 891 non-Hispanic whites aged 18 years and older (N = 6082). Lifetime and 12-month diagnoses of DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD), 12-month mental health services use, and MDD disability as quantified using the Sheehan Disability Scale and the World Health Organization's Disability Assessment Schedule II. Lifetime MDD prevalence estimates were highest for whites (17.9%), followed by Caribbean blacks (12.9%) and African Americans (10.4%); however, 12-month MDD estimates across groups were similar. The chronicity of MDD was higher for both black groups (56.5% for African Americans and 56.0% for Caribbean blacks) than for whites (38.6%). Fewer than half of the African Americans (45.0%) and fewer than a quarter (24.3%) of the Caribbean blacks who met the criteria received any form of MDD therapy. In addition, relative to whites, both black groups were more likely to rate their MDD as severe or very severe and more disabling. When MDD affects African Americans and Caribbean blacks, it is usually untreated and is more severe and disabling compared with that in non-Hispanic whites. The burden of mental disorders, especially depressive disorders, may be higher among US blacks than in US whites.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
                J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                2197-3792
                2196-8837
                June 2016
                September 17 2015
                June 2016
                : 3
                : 2
                : 349-356
                Article
                10.1007/s40615-015-0160-5
                27271076
                © 2016

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