According to a new study by Northeastern University professor Debra L. Franko white girls become less depressed as they age while black girls continue feeling the same.
More than two thousand girls and young women of both ethnicities were surveyed and the conclusion by the researchers was that the depression rate in Caucasian females drops over time, while it remains steady in their African-American counterparts. The study was published in a recent issue of Journal of Adolescent Health.
Girls between the ages of 16 and 23 were taken as the study sample and the method was by examining self-reported symptoms of depression and analysis was made on the differences between the two ethnic groups.
Debra L. Franko, Professor of Counseling and Applied Psychology said, "We believe that issues like access to proper care, the stigma of mental health problems, and insurance status may be contributing factors to African-American girls suffering from depression being less likely to receive the necessary treatment. This is clearly an area that needs to be investigated further."
Dr. Franko and her colleagues suspect that the different ways black and white girls view their bodies may also contribute to the difference in depression rates among the two groups.
2221 females (1146 African-American and 1075 Caucasian) were studied. The girls were participants in the decade-long National Growth and Health Study, conducted between 1987 and 1998.