Depression and poverty among African American women at risk for type 2 diabetes
Poverty is associated with negative health outcomes, including depression. Little is known about the specific elements of poverty that contribute to depression, particularly among African American women at risk for type 2 diabetes. This study examined the relationships of economic and social resources to depression among African American women at high risk for the development of type 2 diabetes (N = 181) using the Conservation of Resources theory as a conceptual framework. Women were assessed at 3 time points in conjunction with a dietary change intervention. At baseline, 40% of women reported clinically significant depression, and 43.3% were below the poverty line. Depressed women reported fewer economic assets and greater economic distress than nondepressed peers. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that nonwork status, lack of home ownership, low appraisal of one’s economic situation, low self-esteem, and increased life events were significantly associated with depression at baseline. Longitudinal multivariate logistic regression models indicated that income, home ownership, future economic appraisal, life events, and self-esteem predicted depression trajectories at Time 3. These results speak to the multifaceted sources of stress in the lives of poor African American women. Interventions that address the economic and social factors associated with depression are needed.