Research

August 21, 2019 at 10:52 am

Miller Authors ‘Uncovering Profiles of Economic, Social, and Cultural Capital to Explore Depression Across Racial Groups’

Dr. Paula Miller, portrait

Dr. Paula Miller

Dr. Paula Miller co-authored an article on “Uncovering Profiles of Economic, Social, and Cultural Capital to Explore Depression Across Racial Groups” in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

“This research has the potential to reduce health disparities, by providing policy makers and researchers with information that will allow them to target populations that are most at risk for depression,” Miller and her co-author write.

Miller is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ohio University.

Her co-author is Bridget E. Weller of the School of Social Work at Western Michigan University.

Abstract: Research exploring the association between socio-economic status (SES) and depression is limited by conceptualizations of SES and conflicting findings across racial groups. We broaden previous research by (1) reconceptualizing SES through the lens of Bourdieusian theory to identify profiles of economic, social, and cultural capital; (2) investigating whether these profiles differ for Black and white adults; and (3) exploring whether specific profiles of capital are associated with increased depression scores. This study analyzed secondary data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative sample of U.S. individuals. A sub-population of the sample was used, which was comprised of 4339 Black and white participants from wave IV. To address the study aims, we used the new three-step approach to conducting latent class analysis. We identified five profiles of capital, the composition of which varied by race. Compared to Blacks, whites were more likely to be in the cultural-economic capital (14% vs. 10%), elevated overall capital (35% vs. 14%), and social-economic capital (13% vs. 10%) profiles, whereas Blacks were more likely to be in the limited overall capital (35% vs. 16%) and moderate economic capital (32% vs 22%) profiles. Profiles differed in risk for depression; the limited overall capital profile had the highest depression scores, whereas the elevated overall capital profile had the lowest depression scores. This research has the potential to reduce health disparities, by providing policy makers and researchers with information that will allow them to target populations that are most at risk for depression.

 

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