Resilience and vulnerability to depressive symptoms associated with perceived discrimination among First Nations people in Canada

Creator: 

Bombay, Amy

Date: 

2008

Abstract: 

Stressful events have been implicated as a fundamental factor that promotes and exacerbates depressive symptoms. Given that discrimination has been suggested to be a powerful stressor, the present investigation examined the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among First Nations adults in Canada (A = 158). As marked individual differences exist regarding experiences of discrimination and depressive symptoms, it was considered that ethnic identity and social support could serve as potential resilience/vulnerability factors. Regression analyses confirmed that perceived discrimination was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, but levels of perceived discrimination, depressive symptoms, and the consequences of this relationship varied as a function of ethnic identity (in-group affect, in-group ties, centrality). High levels of centrality (i.e., importance of heritage to one's self-concept) were associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination and intensified the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms. In contrast, high levels of in-group affect (i.e., positive feelings regarding one's heritage) were associated with lower levels of perceived discrimination. In addition, high levels of in-group affect and in-group ties were associated with reduced depressive symptoms and buffered against the negative impact of discrimination on depressive symptoms, though many of these relations were more pronounced among males than females. Social support did not buffer against perceived discrimination when considered alone. However, tangible support interacted with in-group affect in reducing depressive symptoms associated with perceived discrimination. These data underline the importance of examining different aspects of identity and different types of social support in determining the relation between discrimination and depressive symptoms.

Subject: 

Depression, Mental.
Indigenous peoples -- Canada -- Social conditions

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Science: 
M.Sc.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Psychology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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