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The associations between socio-economic status and major depressive disorder among Blacks, Latinos, Asians and non-Hispanic Whites: findings from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies

  • A. R. Gavin (a1), E. Walton (a2), D. H. Chae (a3), M. Alegria (a4), J. S. Jackson (a5) and D. Takeuchi (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 22 May 2009

This study examined whether there were associations between individual measures of socio-economic status (SES) and the 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in representative samples of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Whites in the USA.


The data used were from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES).


There was an association between household income and MDD among Whites. However, the association was not statistically significant. Statistically significant associations were present between educational attainment and MDD among Whites. Among both Whites and Latinos, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD. In analyses by nativity, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD among US-born and foreign-born Latinos.


Significant associations between various measures of SES and MDD were consistently observed among White and, in some cases, Latino populations. Future studies should continue to examine sociopsychological factors related to SES that increase the risk of MDD among people from racial-ethnic communities.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr A. R. Gavin, School of Social Work, University of Washington, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA98105-6299, USA. (Email:
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