Mathew D. Gayman
Daily discrimination was independently associated with depression among black men.
“Few studies have focused on African-American men to identify risk and protective factors for psychological well-being, particularly depressive symptoms. However, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the role of factors such as socioeconomic status, social stressors (including discrimination), and psychosocial coping resources for depressive symptoms among African-American men,” Mathew D. Gayman, PhD, of Georgia State University, Atlanta, and colleagues wrote. “Collectively, these factors constitute what stress process researchers recognize as key risk and protective factors for health and health inequalities.”
To identify risk and protective factors for mental health among adult black men, researchers used the stress process model to analyze a community-based sample of Miami residents linked to neighborhood census data for 248 black men.
Family support, mastery, self-esteem, chronic stressors and daily discrimination were independently associated with depression.
Mastery and self-esteem mediated the relationship between neighborhood income and depressive symptoms.
Family support served as a buffer for stress exposure, according to researchers.
The stress process model explained approximately half of variability in depressive symptoms among black men.
“The factors that contribute to the mental health of African-American men are consistent with research on the factors that are important for the psychological well-being of the general population — coping resources, stress exposure and economic conditions,” Gayman said in a press release. “However, African-American men report, on average, fewer coping resources, greater stress exposure and poorer economic conditions than the general population. It is the systematic disparities in these factors that contribute to race inequalities in psychological health. Ultimately, if we want to address the increased risk for mental health problems (and mental health generally) experienced by African-American men, we must address the social conditions and forces that shape race disparities in coping resources, stress exposure and economic conditions.” – by Amanda Oldt
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.