Prevalence of mood disorders and service use among US mothers by race and ethnicity: results from the National Survey of American Life.J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Nov; 72(11):1538-45.JC
To describe the rates of mood disorders, the social and demographic correlates of mood disorders, and mental health services utilization among African American, Caribbean black, and non-Hispanic white mothers.
Study data were collected between February 2001 and June 2003 as part of the National Survey of American Life: Coping With Stress in the 21st Century. National household probability samples of African Americans and Caribbean blacks were surveyed using a slightly modified World Mental Health version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Participants included 2,019 African American, 799 Caribbean black, and 400 non-Hispanic white mothers 18 years and older (N = 3,218). The main outcomes measured were lifetime and 12-month diagnoses of DSM-IV mood disorders (major depressive episode, dysthymic disorder, bipolar I and II disorders) and mental health services utilization.
The lifetime prevalence estimate of mood disorders is higher for white mothers (21.67%) than for African American mothers (16.77%) and Caribbean black mothers (16.42%); however, 12-month mood disorder estimates are similar across groups. African American mothers have higher 12-month prevalence estimates of bipolar disorder (2.48%) than white mothers (0.59%) and Caribbean black mothers (1.16%). African American mothers with higher education levels and white mothers who became parents as teenagers are more likely to have a lifetime mood disorder. Less than half (45.8%) of black mothers with a past 12-month mood disorder diagnosis utilized mental health services. Among black mothers with a 12-month diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Caribbean blacks utilized mental health services at higher rates than African Americans.
Demographic correlates for mood disorders varied by race and ethnicity. The findings illustrated underutilization of treatment by black mothers, especially African American mothers with bipolar disorder.