Perceived ethnic discrimination and depressive symptoms: the buffering effects of ethnic identity, religion and ethnic social network
SourceSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51, 5, (2016), pp. 679-88
Article / Letter to editor
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Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
PURPOSE: Perceived ethnic discrimination (PED) is positively associated with depressive symptoms in ethnic minority groups in Western countries. Psychosocial factors may buffer against the health impact of PED, but evidence is lacking from Europe. We assessed whether ethnic identity, religion, and ethnic social network act as buffers in different ethnic minority groups in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. METHODS: Baseline data were used from the HEalthy Living In a Urban Setting study collected from January 2011 to June 2014. The random sample included 2501 South-Asian Surinamese, 2292 African Surinamese, 1877 Ghanaians, 2626 Turks, and 2484 Moroccans aged 18-70 years. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. PED was measured with the Everyday Discrimination Scale. Ethnic identity was assessed using the Psychological Acculturation Scale. Practicing religion was determined. Ethnic social network was assessed with the number of same-ethnic friends and amount of leisure time spent with same-ethnic people. RESULTS: PED was positively associated with depressive symptoms in all groups. The association was weaker among (a) those with strong ethnic identity in African Surinamese and Ghanaians, (b) those practicing religion among African Surinamese and Moroccans, (c) those with many same-ethnic friends in South-Asian Surinamese, Ghanaians, and Turks, and (d) those who spend leisure time with same-ethnic people among African Surinamese and Turks. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic identity, religion, and ethnic social network weakened the association between PED and depressive symptoms, but the effects differed by ethnic minority group. These findings suggest that ethnic minority groups employ different resources to cope with PED.
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