The reported prevalence of depression and anxiety among African American children and adolescents and their negative sequalae suggest a need to further explore factors that may be protective of depression and anxiety among this population.
The aim of this review was to examine empirical studies that focus on the association between family-level factors (e.g., parenting practices, family functioning) and depression and anxiety in African American children. Specifically, we examined the studies’ characteristics and the relationship between various family-level factors and depression and anxiety outcomes and assessed the methodological quality of studies.
This review was guided by systematic review methods postulated by Gough and colleagues and the Prisma Group. Electronic databases searched were Social Work Abstracts, PsycINFO, SocIndex, PubMed, Social Service Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts. Thirty-one studies published from 2003 to 2014 were included and assessed for methodological strength using the Quantitative Research Assessment Tool.
The majority of the study samples were low income and resided in metropolitan or urban areas, and primary caregivers were female. Parenting practices (58 % of studies) were by far the most frequently examined family-level factor associated with depression and anxiety.
Positive family-level factors (e.g., positive parenting, healthy family functioning and environment) was associated with decreased depression and anxiety. Findings from this review can inform the development or adaptation of family-based interventions that can effectively reduce depression and anxiety symptoms in African American children.
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Washington, T., Rose, T., Coard, S.I. et al. Family-Level Factors, Depression, and Anxiety Among African American Children: A Systematic Review. Child Youth Care Forum 46, 137–156 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-016-9372-z