Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

The associations between socio-economic status and major depressive disorder among Blacks, Latinos, Asians and non-Hispanic Whites: findings from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies

A. R. Gavina1 c1, E. Waltona2, D. H. Chaea3, M. Alegriaa4, J. S. Jacksona5 and D. Takeuchia1

a1 School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

a2 Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

a3 Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

a4 Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville, MA, USA

a5 Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Abstract

Background This study examined whether there were associations between individual measures of socio-economic status (SES) and the 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in representative samples of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Whites in the USA.

Method The data used were from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES).

Results There was an association between household income and MDD among Whites. However, the association was not statistically significant. Statistically significant associations were present between educational attainment and MDD among Whites. Among both Whites and Latinos, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD. In analyses by nativity, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD among US-born and foreign-born Latinos.

Conclusions Significant associations between various measures of SES and MDD were consistently observed among White and, in some cases, Latino populations. Future studies should continue to examine sociopsychological factors related to SES that increase the risk of MDD among people from racial-ethnic communities.

(Received July 09 2008)

(Revised April 15 2009)

(Accepted April 18 2009)

(Online publication May 22 2009)

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr A. R. Gavin, School of Social Work, University of Washington, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98105-6299, USA. (Email: gavina@u.washington.edu)

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