ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Demographic factors significantly affect mental health concerns among black men, according to a study by the University of Michigan and University of Southern California that provides the first-ever national estimates of several mental disorders for black men.
Advanced age was linked to better mental health status, the research showed. Older men had fewer depressive symptoms, lower levels of psychological distress and lower odds of having 12-month major depressive disorder than their younger counterparts.
However, the study found that lower socioeconomic position—lower levels of education, being unemployed or out of the labor market and being in poverty—was associated with poorer mental health status.
Researchers used data from 1,271 African American men from the National Survey of American Life: Coping with Stress in the 21st Century. The study examined three types of mental health issues: depressive symptoms, serious psychological distress and major depressive disorders among black men.
Only one out of 20 respondents reported major depressive disorder during the previous 12-month period, and nearly 10 percent reported having had the disorder at some point over the course of their lives.
Karen Lincoln is an associate professor of social work at USC and the study's lead author.
The study appears in Research on Social Work Practice.
WEB: University of Michigan Contact: Jared Wadley Phone: (734) 936-7819