The association between depression and parental ethnic affiliation and socioeconomic status: A 27-year longitudinal US community study

Sophie D. Walsh, Stephen Z. Levine, Itzhak Levav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined the extent to which parental SES and ethnic affiliation during adolescence are associated with Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) scores compatible with depression during adulthood. Methods: The data were extracted from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) conducted in 1979 on several ethnic groups (African-Americans, Hispanics and Others). These data included paternal socioeconomic status (SES) when respondents (N = 8,331) were on average aged 18. The CES-D was re-administered 27 years later to assess the presence of depression. Results: Adjusted for age, binary logistic regression modeling showed that parental low SES increased the risk of CES-D of scores compatible with depression across ethnic groups for both genders. A gradient was observed of an increased likelihood of depression scores with lower parental SES levels: among African-American respondents, depression scores were highest at the lowest parental SES levels (OR = 3.25, 95% CI 2.19-4.84) and the risk dropped at medium (OR = 3.00, 95% CI 1.96-4.59), and highest SES levels (OR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.12-3.07). An analogous pattern was generally found for each ethnic group. Conclusions: Low parental SES during adolescence significantly increases the likelihood of CES-D scores compatible with depression during adulthood across US ethnic groups and in both genders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1158
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Major depression
  • Psychiatric epidemiology
  • Socio-economic status

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