A Causal Model of Depression in Black Single Mothers

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Rahshida L Atkins, MS
School of Nursing, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ

Learning Objective 1: Based on the results, the learner will be able to explain how psychosocial and culturally relevant variables contribute to depression in Black single mothers.

Learning Objective 2: Based on the results,the leaner will be able to design nursing interventions specific for counseling Black single mothers with depression.

A Causal Model of Depression in Black Single Mothers

             The purpose of this study was to develop and test a theory of depression via causal

modeling.  The resultant over-identified causal model included the exogenous variables of

perceived racism and perceived stress and the endogenous variables of anger, self-esteem, and

depression.  This research also tested the direct and indirect effects of ten hypothesized

relationships according to the pattern of causation specified in the model.

            The final sample consisted of 208 Black single mothers in the community, aged 18 to 45,

who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for the study.  The participants responded to The

Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, The

Perceived Stress Scale, The Spielberger State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, and The

Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire Community Version Brief.

             The over-identified recursive causal model was tested using the LISREL 9.1

computer program.  Maximum likelihood chi-square estimation was used to determine the

overall fit of the model with the data, along with a variety of fit indices.  Beta and gamma path

coefficients were examined for their direct and indirect effects for ten hypothesized relationships.  

              The findings indicated that there was an excellent fit of the hypothesized model with

the data  (X2(1, N = 208) = .05, p = .82).  The chi-square was not statistically significant and the

probability was large.  The fit indices for the model were excellent.  Beta and Gamma path

coefficients were statistically significant for 9 out of 10 hypothesized relationships within the

model (p < .001 to p <.05).  The relationship between self-esteem and depression was not

supported (p > .05).  Future studies should examine theoretical outcomes of depression in Black

single mothers and interventions aimed at reducing symptoms of depression in Black single

mothers.  Implications for nursing are addressed.