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Brain Sci. 2018, 8(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8040071

Subjective Socioeconomic Status Moderates the Association between Discrimination and Depression in African American Youth

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
3
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract

Background: Most of the literature on the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and health is focused on the protective effects of SES. However, a growing literature suggests that high SES may also operate as a vulnerability factor. Aims: Using a national sample of African American youth, this study compared the effects of perceived discrimination on major depressive disorder (MDD) based on SES. Methods: The current cross-sectional study included 810 African American youth who participated in the National Survey of American Life-Adolescent supplement. The independent variable was perceived discrimination. Lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day MDD were the dependent variables. Age and gender were covariates. Three SES indicators (subjective SES, income, and poverty index) were moderators. We used logistic regressions for data analysis. Results: Perceived discrimination was associated with higher risk of lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day MDD. Interactions were found between subjective SES and perceived discrimination on lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day MDD, suggesting a stronger effect of perceived discrimination in youth with high subjective SES. Objective measures of SES (income and poverty index) did not interact with perceived discrimination on MDD. Conclusion: While perceived discrimination is a universally harmful risk factor for MDD, its effect may depend on the SES of the individual. Findings suggest that high subjective SES may operate as a vulnerability factor for African American youth. View Full-Text
Keywords: socioeconomic status (SES); income; financial difficulty; African Americans; blacks; discrimination; depression socioeconomic status (SES); income; financial difficulty; African Americans; blacks; discrimination; depression
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Assari, S.; Preiser, B.; Lankarani, M.M.; Caldwell, C.H. Subjective Socioeconomic Status Moderates the Association between Discrimination and Depression in African American Youth. Brain Sci. 2018, 8, 71.

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