Theses Doctoral

Race-ethnic discrimination, Major Depression, and Alcohol Use Disorder among US-born and immigrant minorities

Kapadia, Amy

This dissertation used data from The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to expand upon what is known about the relationship between perceived race-ethnic discrimination and mental health outcomes while uniquely comparing race-ethnic groups across both US-born and immigrant populations. Specifically, two DMS-IV disorders, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) were examined as outcomes. The dissertation sample (n = 13,914) was drawn from Wave II of the data and included Black, Hispanic, and Asian respondents. The first question addresses the associations between perceived race-ethnic discrimination and the mental health disorders. Question two examined the risk and protective roles of four cultural-social factors for both disorders as well as their moderating roles in the race-ethnic discrimination-mental health relationship. Prevalence analysis revealed that almost 20% of minorities experienced past-year race-ethnic discrimination. Results from logistic regressions found that minorities who experienced race-ethnic discrimination were about two times as likely to have MDD or AUD than minorities who did not experience race-ethnic discrimination (ORs = 2.0 and 1.8, respectively). Comparisons across sub-populations of US-born, immigrant, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and gender groups found a few differences in terms of the effects of discrimination and mental health disorders. While moderation analyses failed to yield significant results for race-ethnic discrimination, the four cultural and social factors appeared to moderate the relationship between MDD and AUD, respectively. Findings corroborate and expand upon previous work demonstrating a consistent, strong, and positive relationship between perceived race-ethnic discrimination and mental health outcomes across minority populations yielding practice and policy implications. Further research is needed to examine causal associations using longitudinal data as well as to elucidate upon the role of protective and risk factors given cultural and community-based factors.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Lukens, Ellen P.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 23, 2013