Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Danny R. Hoyt

Abstract

This study examines the effects of economic hardship on mental health for 501 African American women from Georgia and Mississippi. Three issues are of particular concern: (1) the differential response patterns to economic stress and depressive symptoms; (2) the utilization of coping resources such as social support, sense of control, and religiosity to moderate the link between economic stress and depressive symptoms; and (3) a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between economic hardship, economic stress, and depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that African American women in Georgia and Mississippi are less likely to report both economic stress and depressive symptoms if they have high incomes, are married, and are older. These findings are similar to previous studies and suggest that sociodemographic characteristics are key determinants of African American women's mental health. Although none of the coping resources were found to moderate the link between economic stress and depressive symptoms, social support and religious involvement significantly reduced depressive symptoms. In addition, unlike previous studies that suggest that the impact of economic hardship on depression is mediated through economic stress, findings from this study provides evidence to the contrary. For this sample of African American women, the overall economic conditions are the primary determinants of depressive symptoms.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-4941

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Phyllis Ann Brown

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI9826519

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

160 pages

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