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Longmire-Avital and alumna co-author article in the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy

The article by Associate Professor of Psychology Buffie Longmire-Avital, and alumna Ruthie Robinson '16 examines the rates and psychosocial correlates of depression among both black and white American collegiate females.   

Associate Professor of Psychology Buffie Longmire-Avital, and alumna Ruthie Robinson '16 have co-authored an article in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy examining the rates and psychosocial correlates of depression among both black and white American collegiate females. 

Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology

Young, Depressed, and Black: A Comparative Exploration of Depressive Symptomatology among Black and White Collegiate Women is one of a series of forthcoming papers that explore how the experience of race, specifically race-related stress, impacts health and well-being.

The study examined and compared the prevalence rates of major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder in nearly 400 female college students that self-identified as either black or white. The study also investigated the link between other psychosocial factors and depressive symptomatology. The study found that black American females in the sample met criteria for major depression at a rate of one in two in comparison to the White American females that had a rate of one in four. For persistent depressive disorder the rate for meeting criteria was even greater for the black female participants.

Hierarchical linear regression was used to explore the relationship between race and depression when controlling for perceived stress. The study results suggested that 3 percent of additional variance in the model to predict depressive symptomatology was accounted for by simply identifying as black. Pulling from both the Racial Battle Fatigue framework and the John Henryism theory of high effort coping among black Americans, the authors’ propose that black students experiencing race-related stress who concurrently perceive environmental microaggressions and systems of oppression manifested throughout the university may be particularly cautious in gaining help, which could potentially increase their risk for developing more severe depressive symptoms and other mental health outcomes.

The Journal of College Student Psychotherapy explores significant issues in the field of college student mental health.

Upon graduation, Robinson was selected as a development intern at the Clinton Foundation. She is currently the assistant director of external relations at The University of Chicago. 

Psychology Department,
Staff
7/25/2017 10:05 AM