Research Article
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Published Online: 26 April 2012

Are benefits conferred with greater socioeconomic position undermined by racial discrimination among African American men?

Publication: Journal of Men's Health
Volume 9, Issue Number 2


Background: conventional wisdom suggests that increased socioeconomic resources should be related to better health. Considering the body of evidence demonstrating the significant association between racial discrimination and depression, we examined whether exposure to racial discrimination could attenuate the positive effects of increased levels of socioeconomic position (SEP) among African Americans. Specifically, this paper investigated the joint interactive effects of SEP and racial discrimination on the odds of depression among African Americans.
Methods: racial discrimination was measured using two measures, major and everyday discrimination. Study objectives were achieved using data from the National Survey of American Life, which included a nationally representative sample of African Americans (n = 3570). Logistic regression models were used to estimate the effects of SEP and racial discrimination on the odds of depression.
Results: reports of racial discrimination were associated with increased risk of depression among African American men who possessed greater levels of education and income. Among African American men, significant, positive interactions were observed between education and experiences of major discrimination, which were associated with greater odds of depression (P = 0.02). Additionally, there were positive interactions between income and both measures of racial discrimination (income x everyday discrimination, P = 0.013; income x major discrimination, P = 0.02), which were associated with increased odds of depression (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: it is possible that experiences of racial discrimination could, in part, diminish the effects of increased SEP among African American men.

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Information & Authors


Published In

cover image Journal of Men's Health
Journal of Men's Health
Volume 9Issue Number 2June 2012
Pages: 127 - 136
PubMed: 22707995


Published in print: June 2012
Published online: 26 April 2012
Accepted: 9 March 2012
Received: 6 February 2012


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Darrell L. Hudson
Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
Kai M. Bullard
Centers for Disease Control, USA
Harold W. Neighbors
University of Michigan, USA
Arline T. Geronimus
University of Michigan, USA
Juan Yang
University of California, Berkeley, USA
James S. Jackson
University of Michigan, USA


Address correspondence to:Darrell L. Hudson, PhD, MPHBrown SchoolWashington University in St. LouisOne Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130USA
E-mail: [email protected]

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