Race and Ethnic Disparities in Depression among Mothers in Los Angeles: Individual, Family, and Neighborhood Effects

Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, RAND

In this paper, we will examine maternal depression using new data from the first wave of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), fielded in 2000-2001. L.A.FANS screened mothers in the sample for depression using a well-tested standardized depression inventory and collected information on a wide variety of relevant covariates at the individual, family, and neighborhood level. The results show that 15% of all mothers in our sample have major depression. White and Latina mothers have very similar levels of depression while black mothers have substantially higher levels and Asian mothers have substantially lower levels. Roughly one out of every four black mothers suffered from major depression in the past 12 months according to our results, compared to less than one out of every ten Asian mothers. Other preliminary results suggest that immigrant status, educational attainment, income, and other factors are related to maternal depression.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality