Dr. Young's LabA Comparison of Depressive Symptoms in African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans
Liat Ayalon (Masters, 2000; Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 34, 111-124, 2003)
Racial variations in depressive symptomatology are well recognized, however research is equivocal regarding their specific nature. The present study identified racial variations in depressive symptomatology by examining Differential Item Functioning (DIF) on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). 224 African-Americans and 224 Caucasian-Americans were matched on depression level and on level of education. All 21 items of the BDI were indicators of depression severity in both groups. Unrelated to depression severity, African-Americans expressed less self-criticism, self-disappointment, indecisiveness, and life-dissatisfaction, and more sense of punishment than Caucasian-Americans. In addition, as depression severity increased, African-Americans expressed more insomnia, loss of appetite, and bodily concerns, than Caucasian-Americans. These results were not accounted for by sex or by level of education.