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Social Support, Traumatic Events, and Depressive Symptoms Among African Americans

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Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among stress, social support, negative interaction, and mental health in a sample of African American men and women between ages 18 and 54 (N= 591) from the National Comorbidity Study. The study findings indicated that social support decreased the number of depressive symptoms, did not mitigate the effects of stress, and was reduced in response to financial strain. Financial strain and traumatic events were associated with increased negative interaction with relatives and depressive symptoms. The findings verify that stressful and traumatic events have direct influences on levels of depressive symptoms and affect the quality of social interactions and suggest how social interaction processes contribute to mental health.

Keywords: African Americans; depression; negative interaction; social support

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Washington 2: University of Michigan * 3: University of Michigan **

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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