Special Issue "Social Determinants of Depression: Differential Effects versus Differential Exposures"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Shervin Assari

Department of Psychiatry and School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5295, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: depression; race; gender; sex; class

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Race, gender, class, and place determine epidemiology of depression in two main ways namely Differential Exposures and Differential Effects. According to the Differential Exposures hypothesis, social groups differ in exposure to a wide range of risk and protective factors such as stress, poverty, and social support. In this view, differential distribution of risk and protective factors explain why social groups differ in prevalence and course of depression. According to this hypothesis, differential exposure to stress at least partially mediates the group differences in depression. According to Differential Effects hypothesis, race, gender, class, and place alter the effects of risk and protective factors across social groups. Based on this hypothesis, social groups differ in the direction or magnitude of the effects of risk and protective factors on depression.

Some theoretical and empirical work have provided some insights regarding these complex effects. Differential exposure to stress, financial distress, coping, and rumination may partially explain gender differences in depression. Stress may also interact with gender, as men and women differently respond to depression. Class is associated with differential distribution of exposure to stress and social support. Class may also alter vulnerability to stress, coping, and stress response.  Finally, racial minority populations differ in their exposure and vulnerability to stress.

The results of this line of research have considerable implications for research, policy, and practice. Results will extend the field of health disparities by introducing new mechanisms behind disparities in depression. The result may advocate for local rather than universal policies and programs. The results may also support tailored interventions that address specific needs of each socio-demographic group (e.g., based on the intersection of race, gender, class, and place). Better understanding between- and within-group heterogeneities in causes and consequences of depression may help reduce burden of depression.

The Special Issue "Social Determinants of Depression: Differential Effects versus Differential Exposures" invites researchers and scholars to submit their state-of-the-art original and review articles on these topics. Potential papers of interest include: 1) studies decomposing differential exposure and differential vulnerability; 2) studies testing multiplicative rather than separate or additive effects; 3) studies that compare countries or regions within countries; 4) studies that test moderated mediation models of disparities; 5) studies on tailored interventions for sub-populations; 6) studies with national sampling, 7) studies using longitudinal design; 8) studies using intersectionality framework; and 8) studies on theory, measurement, and methods.

Dr. Shervin Assari
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • race
  • gender
  • class
  • place
  • social determinants
  • depression

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Exploring Causes of Depression and Anxiety Health Disparities (HD) by Examining Differences between 1:1 Matched Individuals
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(12), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8120207
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract
Poor comparability of social groups is one of the major methodological problems that threatens the validity of health disparities (HD) research findings. We illustrate a methodological solution that can additionally unpack the mechanisms behind differential effects on depression and anxiety. We describe racial/ethnic
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Poor comparability of social groups is one of the major methodological problems that threatens the validity of health disparities (HD) research findings. We illustrate a methodological solution that can additionally unpack the mechanisms behind differential effects on depression and anxiety. We describe racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of depression and anxiety scores between Black and White women using classic methods, and then we illustrate a 1:1 matching procedure that allows for building of individual-level difference scores, i.e., actual HD difference score variables, for each pair of comparable participants. We compare the prevalence of depression disorder between Black and White young women after matching them 1:1 on common socio-economic characteristics (age, employment, education, and marital status). In essence, we follow matching or stratification methods, but make a step further and match cases 1:1 on propensity scores, i.e., we create Black–White ‘dyads’. Instead of concluding from plain comparisons that 11% more White young women (18–30 years old) report a depressive disorder than Black young women, the matched data confirms the trend, but provides more nuances. In 27% of the pairs of comparable pairs the White woman was depressed (and the comparable Black woman was not), while in 15% of the pairs the Black woman was depressed (and the comparable White woman was not). We find that Black-to-White disparities in neighborhood disorder do not predict depression differences (HDs), while such an effect is evident for anxiety HDs. The 1:1 matching approach allows us to examine more complex HD effects, like differential mediational or resilience mechanisms that appear to be protective of Black women’s mental health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Depressive Symptoms and Self-Esteem in White and Black Older Adults in the United States
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(6), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8060105
Received: 12 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background. Poor self-esteem is a core element of depression. According to recent research, some racial groups may vary in the magnitude of the link between depression and poor self-esteem. Using a national sample, we compared Black and White older Americans for the effect
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Background. Poor self-esteem is a core element of depression. According to recent research, some racial groups may vary in the magnitude of the link between depression and poor self-esteem. Using a national sample, we compared Black and White older Americans for the effect of baseline depressive symptoms on decline in self-esteem over time. Methods. This longitudinal study used data from the Religion, Aging, and Health Survey, 2001–2004. The study followed 1493 older adults (734 Black and 759 White) 65 years or older for three years. Baseline depressive symptoms (CES-D), measured in 2001, was the independent variable. Self-esteem, measured at the end of the follow up, was the dependent variable. Covariates included baseline demographic characteristics (age and gender), socioeconomic factors (education, income, and marital status), health (self-rated health), and baseline self-esteem. Race/ethnicity was the moderator. Linear multi-variable regression models were used for data analyses. Results. In the pooled sample, higher depressive symptoms at baseline were predictive of a larger decline in self-esteem over time, net of covariates. We found a significant interaction between race/ethnicity and baseline depressive symptoms on self-esteem decline, suggesting a weaker effect for Blacks compared to Whites. In race/ethnicity-specific models, high depressive symptoms at baseline was predictive of a decline in self-esteem for Whites but not Blacks. Conclusion. Depressive symptoms may be a more salient contributor to self-esteem decline for White than Black older adults. This finding has implications for psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy of depression of racially diverse populations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Subjective Socioeconomic Status Moderates the Association between Discrimination and Depression in African American Youth
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8040071
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
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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. Full article
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