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Discrimination, crime, ethnic identity, and parenting as correlates of depressive symptoms among African American children: A multilevel analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2002

RONALD L. SIMONS
Affiliation:
Iowa State University
VELMA MURRY
Affiliation:
University of Georgia
VONNIE MCLOYD
Affiliation:
University of Michigan
KUEI-HSIU LIN
Affiliation:
Iowa State University
CAROLYN CUTRONA
Affiliation:
Iowa State University
RAND D. CONGER
Affiliation:
Iowa State University

Extract

This study investigated the correlates of childhood depressive symptoms in an African American sample. We included processes that are likely to operate for all children, regardless of race or ethnicity, as well as events and circumstances that are largely unique to children of color. These various constructs were assessed at both the individual and community level. The analyses consisted of hierarchical linear modeling with a sample of 810 African American families living in Iowa and Georgia. Three individual-level variables were associated with childhood depressive symptoms: uninvolved parenting, racial discrimination, and criminal victimization. At the community level, prevalence of both discrimination and criminal victimization were positively related and community ethnic identification was negatively related to depressive symptoms. Further, there was evidence that community ethnic identification and neighborhood poverty serve to moderate the relationship between criminal victimization and depressive symptoms. Overall, the findings underscore the importance of considering factors unique to the everyday lives of the cultural group that is the focus of study, while demonstrating the dangers of a “one model fits all” approach to studying children of color.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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