July 18, 2008

Better mental health of African Americans is not explained by social relationships

Personal Relationships doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2008.00195.x

Race, social relationships, and mental health

K. JILL KIECOLT et al.

ABSTRACT

Researchers often assume that the extent, quality, and effectiveness of personal relationships explain why African Americans have relatively good mental health despite experiencing high levels of stress. This study tests this assumption using data from the 1990–1992 National Comorbidity Survey. Few racial differences emerge in patterns of social relationships, and the nature and quality of social relationships do not explain African Americans' resiliency on mental health. Several aspects of social relationships benefit African Americans' mental health more than Whites', but these moderating effects are insubstantial. Hence, the data do not support the assumption. If social relationships help explain the lack of racial differences in mental health, their nature and effects must be more adequately conceptualized.

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1 comment:

Dragon Horse said...

What type of mental health? In general or specifically with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, personality disorders?

I thought blacks had a lower rate of depression but higher rate of schizophrenia than white Americans...I'm sure I read that. I also remember black women have less eating disorders (like far far less) than white women in America...but this seems to be a mixed bag.

Also:

"Researchers often assume that the extent, quality, and effectiveness of personal relationships explain why African Americans have relatively good mental health despite experiencing high levels of stress."

What type of stress? I'm going to guess they will say more blacks are poor (about 20%) so they are more likely to live in urban ghettos and experience stress of crime and poverty in densely populated areas ,whereas about 7% of whites are poor and most of them are rural...? Is that it?

This seems vague, but I can't read the study, no access, so...

Can someone who has access fill in the blanks?