A study done at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found that African American men who have a feeling of control over their lives experience better mental health and are less likely to suffer from depression. This feeling of “perceived mastery” is a predictor of positive mental health and protects against depressive symptoms.
Researchers also found that African American men exposed to racism and discrimination experience feelings of lack of control with resulting poorer mental health. For African American men between the ages of 35 to 54 years, discrimination was significantly associated with depressive symptoms. However, depending on the age group, the link between discrimination, depression and feelings of mastery varied in strength.
Daphne Watkins, associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan, and lead author states that more research needs to be done across all age groups. As well, she recommends prevention and intervention strategies targeted to young adults will help individuals later in life, if discrimination, social and emotional obstacles are encountered.
See the article in Medical News Today, “Feeling “In Control” Tied to Lower Risk of Depression Among African American Men,” May 31, 2011 available at www.medicalnewstoday.com.