Longmire-Avital presents at Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change
The associate professor of psychology and coordinator of African and African-American Studies at Elon gave a talk titled “A Comparative Exploration of Depressive Symptomatology among Black and White Collegiate Women.”
Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology and the coordinator of African and African-American Studies, recently presented at the 2017 annual Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change held Feb. 17-18 in Savannah, Georgia.
In her talk titled "A Comparative Exploration of Depressive Symptomatology among Black and White Collegiate Women," Longmire-Avital’s study examined and compared the prevalence rates in her sample for major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder among college enrolled emerging adult women that self-identified as either Black or White. The study also investigated the link between other psychosocial factors and depressive symptomatology.
There is an abundance of research on depression. However there is minimal research that considers the developmental period of emerging adulthood in conjunction with the intersection of race and gender when exploring depression rates. Nearly 400 female college students participated in this online study.
Longmire-Avital’s study found that black American women in the sample met criteria for major depression at a rate of 1 in 2 in comparison to the white American women that had a rate of 1 in 4. For persistent depressive disorder the rate for meeting criteria was even greater for the black 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.
In addition to presenting the study’s major findings, Longmire-Avital contextualized these findings with a discussion on mental health awareness in among populations of color, the need for culturally-sensitive and anchored treatment, as well highlighting the impact that the racial experience, particularly micro-racial-aggressive stress plays in overall well-being for students of color.
Longmire-Avital worked with alumna Ruth Robinson ‘16 on this research and a co-authored paper is currently going through revisions.