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Depression Varies Among Hispanic Cultures

ManA new study finds that older Puerto Ricans have higher rates of depression than other Hispanics living in the United States.

Nearly 7 percent of Puerto Ricans, who make up 11 percent of the Hispanics 65 and older in the U.S., suffer from major depression, compared to Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, and Hispanics from Central and South America.

Only 2.8 percent of Mexican Americans (46.7 percent of the older Hispanic population) and 2.5 percent of Cuban Americans (13 percent) suffer from major depression.

“We found the prevalence of depression across Hispanic groups in the United States to be highest in Puerto Ricans, even though this was the smallest group,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

Funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, the study was conducted by IFAR scientists Frances M. Yang, Ph.D., and Richard N. Jones, Sc.D., along with Yamileth Cazorla-Lancaster of the University of North Texas School of Public Health.

The researchers examined differences in the levels of depressive symptoms and the presence of depression in 759 Hispanics over the age of 59. Data was obtained from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study and its Asset of Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study.

The heterogeneity of Hispanics living in the U.S underscores the complexity of investigating intragroup differences in mental health. Generalizing findings from one particular Hispanic group to all Hispanic groups, the researchers say, may not accurately reflect the burden of health in specific Hispanic groups.

“Our findings support the hypothesis that the assumption of homogeneity of the prevalence of depression across Hispanic groups is not tenable,” says Dr. Yang, a research assistant scientist at IFAR who specializes in the mental health of older adults.

“Furthermore, Puerto Ricans experienced a significantly higher number of depressive symptoms and prevalence of depression than did the three Hispanic groups in the study.”

Yang and her colleagues say that further research is needed to determine Puerto Ricans’ exposure to factors that account for higher prevalence of depression than other Hispanic groups and whites living in the U.S.

Source: Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research

Depression Varies Among Hispanic Cultures

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Depression Varies Among Hispanic Cultures. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/14/depression-varies-among-hispanic-cultures/2148.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.