Demographics Influence Mental Health in Black Males  Researchers have discovered demographic factors significantly affect mental health concerns among black men.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and University of Southern California determined advanced age was linked to better mental health status as older men had fewer depressive symptoms, lower levels of psychological distress and lower odds of having a major depressive disorder than their younger counterparts.

Unfortunately, a lower socioeconomic standing including lower levels of education, unemployment and poverty were associated with poorer mental health status.

Researchers used data from 1,271 African American men from the National Survey of American Life: Coping with Stress in the 21st Century.

The study examined three types of mental health issues: depressive symptoms, serious psychological distress and major depressive disorders among black men.

Positive findings include the discovery that only one out of 20 respondents reported major depressive disorder during the previous 12-month period, and nearly 10 percent reported having had the disorder at some point over the course of their lives.

Further, 3 percent of men indicated the presence of serious psychological distress, while 6 percent had significant levels of depressive symptoms. Overall, these prevalence rates are relatively low compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Other findings indicate that married men and Southerners had lower odds of 12-month and lifetime major depressive disorder than men in the North Central region and those who were previously married (separated, widowed or divorced).

Researchers interpret the findings suggest life circumstances are meaningful for the mental health of black men.

Source: University of Michigan