Depression Appears on Rise Among Jobless Black Men

Dorothy Rowley | 3/8/2011, 8:51 p.m.

New research shows that unemployment among black men might put them a greater risk for suffering depression.

According to a recent Health Behavior News Service article, data contained in the National Survey of American Life also reveals that black males who earn $80,000 and more, are likewise at risk for depression.

On the other hand, women whose income falls in the $45,000 to $79,999 bracket are less likely to report symptoms of depression compared to women with the least income, according to results of the survey which focused on mental disorders among African-Americans.

The article further states that the survey, which gleaned information in a nationally representative sample of 3,570 African American men and women -- also determined how factors related to social class like income, education, wealth, employment status, mother's education and marital status relate to depression.

"After measuring depression in a very comprehensive way, the results were not very consistent. We need to figure out as a general public: Is there a cost associated with socioeconomic position or moving in an upward trajectory" the article quotes Darrell Hudson, Ph.D., who helped analyze the results, as saying.
Other revelations in the survey, that appears online in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, include that black males who made $80,000 were more likely to report symptoms of depression in the last year compared to those making $17,000 or less, and that African-American men who had some college training or beyond were less likely to suffer from depression in the last year compared to their counterparts who failed to complete high school.
Hudson added that while African-American men are particularly vulnerable to unemployment, that the study's data was compiled from 2001 to 2003. He said that if data used was collected from 2007 to 2009, it could be worse for African-American men.

U. S. Bureau of Labor statistics report that 34.5 percent of the nation's black men are out of work. In addition, joblessness among 16-to-24-year-old black males has reached Great Depression proportions, which equates to more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population, according to the Bureau.