The Effects of Depression on African American Women

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Running head: The effects of depression on African American Women

The effects of depression on African American Women

The effects of depression on African American Women

African American women who completed daily symptom reports also reported significantly more physiological symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, dizziness, poor coordination and/or clumsiness, urine leakage, and vaginal dryness compared to the white women who completed the DSR. Another finding of the study found that symptoms particularly hot flashes increased with age in African American women, while white women reported a decrease in menopausal symptoms with age. African American women who experienced menopause resulting from hysterectomy experienced more hot flashes than white women, regardless of weight did or whether the women used hormone replacement therapy. In the past, causal theories of depression have been used across all populations. These theories have utilized biological, psychosocial, and sociological weaknesses and changes to explain the occurrence and development of depression. African-American women are especially vulnerable to depression due to a convergence of societal and biological factors such as stress related to racial discrimination and high prevalence rates of health problems such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. (Reed, M., McLeod, S., Randall, Y., & Walker, B. (1996)

Some of the risk factors for depression in women, such as low socioeconomic status and educational attainment, single marital status, and being a working mother, are more prevalent among African-American women than among white women. Another important aspect of the contextual depression theory is that it incorporates an examination of the strengths of African- American women and the cultural competency of mental health professionals. Past depression, theories traditionally have ignored these factors. Understanding these factors is important because depressed...