IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v72y2011i10p1659-1666.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Stress trajectories, health behaviors, and the mental health of black and white young adults

Author

Listed:
  • Boardman, Jason D.
  • Alexander, Kari B.

Abstract

This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine the mental health of non-Hispanic black and white young adults in the US. We use latent growth curve modeling to characterize the typical stress trajectories experienced by black and white young adults spanning the bulk of their lives. We identify the following four stress trajectories: 1) relatively stress free; 2) stress peak at age 15 and a subsequent decline; 3) stress peak at age 17 and a subsequent decline; and 4) a moderately high chronic stress. Results indicate that black adolescents have significantly higher risk of being in all three of the stressful classes compared to white adolescents. Stress exposure is strongly associated with depression and the race differences in stress profiles account for a modest amount of the observed race differences in mental health. We do not observe any race differences in behavioral responses to stressors; black youth are no more likely than white youth to engage in poor health behaviors (e.g., smoking, drinking, or obesity) in response to stress. We provide tentative support for the notion that poor health behaviors partially reduce the association between stress and depression for blacks but not whites. These findings contribute to unresolved issues regarding mental and physical health disparities among blacks and whites.

Suggested Citation

  • Boardman, Jason D. & Alexander, Kari B., 2011. "Stress trajectories, health behaviors, and the mental health of black and white young adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(10), pages 1659-1666, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:10:p:1659-1666
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953611001870
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:12:1913-1917_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.047225_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.143446_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Schulz, A. & Israel, B. & Williams, D. & Parker, E. & Becker, A. & James, S., 2000. "Social inequalities, stressors and self reported health status among African American and white women in the Detroit metropolitan area," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(11), pages 1639-1653, December.
    5. Boardman, Jason D., 2004. "Health pessimism among black and white adults: the role of interpersonal and institutional maltreatment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2523-2533, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Reid, Allecia E. & Rosenthal, Lisa & Earnshaw, Valerie A. & Lewis, Tené T. & Lewis, Jessica B. & Stasko, Emily C. & Tobin, Jonathan N. & Ickovics, Jeannette R., 2016. "Discrimination and excessive weight gain during pregnancy among Black and Latina young women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 134-141.
    2. Keshia Reid & Miles Taylor, 2015. "Stress and Maternal Postpartum Depression: The Importance of Stress Type and Timing," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(6), pages 851-875, December.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:10:p:1659-1666. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.