Ethnic differences in depressive symptomatology among young women

Vaughn I. Rickert, Constance M. Wiemann, Abbey B. Berenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine racial and ethnic differences in moderate to severe depressive symptoms among young women seeking reproductive health care.Methods: Nine hundred four white, black, or Hispanic women between 14 and 26 years of age completed an anonymous questionnaire that assessed demographic and reproductive characteristics; recent substance use, including binge drinking; sexual behaviors; occurrence of assault; and depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analysis was used to develop adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for correlates of depressive symptomatology for each racial or ethnic group.Results: Twenty-one percent (68 of 321) of whites, 28% (88 of 316) of blacks, and 29% (77 of 267) of Hispanics reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms. White females with moderate to severe depressive symptoms were more likely to report sexual assault (OR = 3.1); being a high school dropout (OR = 2.6); unemployment (OR = 2.4); two or more episodes of binge drinking (OR = 2.1); and having a mother with less than a high school education (OR = 2.4). Black females with depressive symptoms were more likely to report smoking one to nine cigarettes per day (OR = 3.5); sexual assault (OR = 3.2); and unemployment (OR = 2.1). Hispanic females with depressive symptoms were more likely to report adolescent age (OR = 3.5); physical assault (OR = 3.2); and smoking one or more cigarettes per day (OR = 2.4).Conclusion: Twenty to 25% of young women, regardless of race or ethnicity, have moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and behavioral markers vary according to ethnicity. Copyright (C) 2000 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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