Ethnic density and depressive symptoms among African Americans: threshold and differential effects across social and demographic subgroups

Bécares, Laia, Nazroo, James and Jackson, James (2014) Ethnic density and depressive symptoms among African Americans: threshold and differential effects across social and demographic subgroups. American Journal of Public Health, 104 (12). ISSN 0090-0036

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Abstract

Objectives. We examined the association between Black ethnic density and depressive symptoms among African Americans. We sought to ascertain whether a threshold exists in the association between Black ethnic density and an important mental health outcome, and to identify differential effects of this association across social, economic, and demographic subpopulations.

Methods. We analyzed the African American sample (n = 3570) from the National Survey of American Life, which we geocoded to the 2000 US Census. We determined the threshold with a multivariable regression spline model. We examined differential effects of ethnic density with random-effects multilevel linear regressions stratified by sociodemographic characteristics.
Results. The protective association between Black ethnic density and depressive symptoms changed direction, becoming a detrimental effect, when ethnic density reached 85%. Black ethnic density was protective for lower socioeconomic positions and detrimental for the better-off categories. The masking effects of area deprivation were stronger in the highest levels of Black ethnic density.

Conclusions. Addressing racism, racial discrimination, economic deprivation, and poor services—the main drivers differentiating ethnic density from residential segregation—will help to ensure that the racial/ethnic composition of a neighborhood is not a risk factor for poor mental health.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 14:16
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 14:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/77564
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