Education, perceived discrimination and risk for depression in a southern black cohort.
Objectives: Assess whether education moderates associations between discrimination and depression risk within a southern Black/African American cohort in a labor market shifting from manufacturing and farming to education-intensive industries, such as health care and technology. Methods: Data are from the Pitt County (NC) Study (n = 1154) collected in 2001. Depression risk was assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Study-Depression (CES-D) scale. Discrimination was measured using a subset from the Everyday Discrimination Scale. Education was categorized as completion of less than high school (HS), HS/GED (General Educational Development), or any college. Results: Completing any college mitigated the association between discrimination and CES-D among men (b = -1.33, 95% CI = -2.56, -0.09) but not women (b = -0.19, 95% CI = -1.36, 0.98). Conclusions: Education is protective for depression risk related to discrimination for men but not women. Recent macroeconomic changes placed a premium on higher levels of education in 2018, as in the 1990s. Because racial discrimination remains a stressor in the everyday lives of African Americans regardless of education level, the health benefits of higher education for working-aged African Americans in shifting labor markets warrants further investigation.
Johnson-Lawrence, V; Scott, JB; James, SA
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