Neighborhood Social Group Participation and Depressive Symptoms Among Mid-to-Late Life Black Americans: Does the Association Differ by Ethnicity?


This study examined how neighborhood social participation relates to depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older African Americans and Caribbean Blacks. A subsample of African Americans (N = 1616) and Caribbean Blacks (N = 601) age 40 and older were drawn from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to examine the association between neighborhood social participation and depressive symptoms. In fully adjusted models, non-participation in available neighborhood organizations was associated with higher depressive symptoms among Caribbean Blacks (b = 1.93, p < .01), while neighborhood social participation was unrelated to depressive symptoms among African Americans. Non-participation in available neighborhood group associations is a risk factor for depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older Caribbean Blacks. Future research should assess the correlates of non-participation in available neighborhood organizations, and the mechanisms underlying how non-participation in these organizations relates to the psychological well-being of Caribbean Blacks.