Risk indicators for depressed mood in urban youth : the role of socioeconomic and cultural status
Socioeconomic status and Aboriginal cultural status are believed to be key risk indicators of mental health status in youth.The main purpose of the study was to explore the role of Aboriginal cultural status as an independent risk indicator associated with depressed mood after controlling for other covariates; including socioeconomic status. Methods A population based cross sectional survey was used. Every student in grades 5-8 in Saskatoon was asked to complete a short self-report questionnaire in their classroom in February of 2007. Depressed mood was measured with a validated depression scale (CES-D-12).Results In total, 4093 adolescents completed the study questionnaire. For youth whose parents were of Aboriginal cultural status, the prevalence rate of moderate or severe depressed mood was 21.6% in comparison to 8.9% for youth whose parents were Caucasian (RR=2.43; 95% CI 1.92-3.08). In the final adjusted multivariate logistic regression model, moderate or severe depressed mood was more likely to be associated with female gender (OR=1.665; 95% CI 1.179-2.352), having low self esteem (OR=3.185; 95% CI 2.084-4.870), feeling like an outsider at school (OR=3.364; 95% CI 2.386-4.743), being bullied within the past year (OR=1.879; 95% CI 1.278-2.761), alcohol usage (OR=2.518; 95% CI 1.730-3.666), high levels of anxiety (OR=22.171; 95% CI 14.170-34.960), suicide ideation (OR=3.734; 95% CI 2.502-5.572), being hungry some or most of the time (OR=2.071; 95% CI 1.357-3.162) and parents having a lower education status (OR=1.503; 95% CI 1.066-2.120). Although Aboriginal cultural status was strongly associated with moderate or severe depressed mood after cross tabulation and stratification, Aboriginal cultural status was not associated with higher levels of depressed mood after full adjustment for other covariates in the final multivariate model (OR= 1.132; 95% CI 0.682-1.881).ConclusionsThe results demonstrate that Aboriginal cultural status has a more limited and statistically non-significant association with moderate or severe depressed mood in youth after controlling for other covariates. There is a need to transfer the results of this research to the Saskatoon community to allow policy makers and the public at large to know that prevention of disparity in mental health is possible because the determinants of mental health (i.e., education) are now modifiable (in comparison to Aboriginal cultural status).
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteePatten, Scott; Mousseau, Darrell D.; Crossley, Margaret; Bowen, Rudy; Shaw, Syed; Tempier, Raymond
Copyright DateAugust 2008