A comparison of depressive symptoms in African Americans and Caucasian Americans

Liat Ayalon, Michael A. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The study examined group differences in depressive symptomatology on the Beck Depression Inventory in 278 African Americans and 278 Caucasian Americans seeking psychotherapy. Relative to Caucasian Americans, African Americans reported less pessimism, dissatisfaction, self-blame, and suicidal ideation and more sense of punishment and weight change, but for reasons unrelated to depression. Self-dislike was a stronger manifestation of depression in Caucasian Americans, and sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, and loss of libido were stronger manifestations of depression in African Americans. Group differences were not accounted for by gender, marital status, age, or education. The study contributes to the understanding of sociocultural variants of self-reported depression by distinguishing different ways in which symptomatology may differ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


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