A new study by Northeastern University professor Debra L. Franko found that white girls become less depressed as they age while black girls continue feeling the same.
Franko and her associates surveyed more than two thousand girls and young women of both ethnicities and concluded 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.
Dr. Franko and her fellow researchers studied girls between the ages of 16 and 23 by examining self-reported symptoms of depression and analyzed the differences between the two ethnic groups. They suspect that these differences occur because of known racial and ethnic health disparities.
“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,” says Debra L. Franko, Professor of Counseling and Applied Psychology. “This is clearly an area that needs to be investigated further.”