Young Blacks With Parents Who Have Higher Education More at Risk for Depression

Young Blacks With Parents Who Have Higher Education More at Risk for Depression

Young African-Americans who come from better households — parents who have higher education — are more at risk for depression than their white counterparts of similar economic background, according to a new report from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Published December 23, 2014

Young African-Americans who come from better households — parents who have higher education — are more at risk for depression than their white counterparts of similar economic background, according to a new report, Psychology Central writes. 

Young Blacks from "upper high socioeconomic status" faced increased discrimination against them for their skin color, according to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital. Having a household of educated parents is a positive and serves as protection for white youth, but this works in the opposite for Black children as they become adults.

"For Black youth, we found that higher parental education is a double-edged sword, buffering against the development of depression but also leading to increased discrimination, which in and of itself causes depression," said senior author Dr. Elizabeth Goodman, the Psychology Central reports.

Researchers analyzed data from a Princeton School District study that followed a multiracial group of 545 participants into their 20s. Blacks whose parents had a high school education or less reported feeling more discrimination than their counterparts who had parents with some college or vocational training. But Blacks with parents who had advanced degrees faced the most trouble.

Erika Cheng, Ph.D., another author of the study, said that because Black youth of these backgrounds typically live in predominantly white communities, they "may be made to feel out of place." She continued, "That's discrimination, and if you talk to young people, Black youth consistently report frequent experiences of discrimination — from being followed around in a store to being targeted by police — regardless of their socioeconomic status."

Psychology Central reports:

While Black participants whose parents had a high school education or less experienced more discrimination than those from families in which a parent had some college or vocational training, those whose parents had advanced or professional degrees reported the greatest perceived discrimination of all.

Their reported discrimination was almost twice as high as white young adults from similarly educated families and 1.2 times higher than Black participants whose parents had a high school education or less, according to the study’s findings.

Read full story here.

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Written by Natelege Whaley

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