Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine
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Introduction: Arab Americans are significantly affected by depression with prevalence as high as 50%. Our study assesses whether unique causes of depression such as stress, acculturation, and heritage identity play a role in the high prevalence of depression in Arab Americans. Methods: We surveyed 142 self-identified Arab Americans using a convenience model. Participants answered questions about their level of perceived stress, everyday discrimination, and acculturative stress. They also answered questions regarding their level of acculturation and heritage identity. Finally, participants answered questions regarding their depressive symptoms. A score of 16+ on the depression scale was used as the cut-off for depression. Results: The prevalence of depression in our sample was 60%. In our logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, BMI and education, we found that perceived stress (OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.10, 1.33, p < 0.01) and acculturative stress (OR = 1.02, 95% CI 1.00, 1.05, p < 0.05) were associated with greater odds of having depression in Arab Americans. We did not find that everyday discrimination, acculturation, or heritage identity were associated with depression in Arab Americans (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Our study shows that perceived stress and acculturative stress increase the odds of depression in Arab Americans and therefore may play a role in the high prevalence of depression in this population. We hope our findings inform clinicians on the important underlying causes that may be causing depression in their Arab American patients.
Arab American; Stress; Acculturation; Heritage identity; Depression
Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology
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Whitfield, K. E.
The Effect of Stress, Acculturation, and Heritage Identity on Depression in Arab Americans.
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine, 11(4),