Cook, Helene (2012-08). Predictors of Psychological Health among Rural-Residing African Americans. Doctoral Dissertation.
The current study examined whether obesity contributed significantly to the prediction of depression and health status independent of other relevant factors such as sex, age, and perceived racism in a sample of 198 African Americans residing within a predominantly rural region. Hierarchical regression indicated that even after controlling for important demographic variables, obesity was predictive of higher depression scores as measured by the PHQ9. Additionally, obesity was identified as a significant predictor of health status, such that heavier individuals rated their general health status more poorly than their normal weight peers. Rural respondents did not differ significantly from their metropolitan counterparts. Major predictors of age, sex, perceived racism, and body mass index exerted an adverse effect on the poor, overweight, and individuals who perceived a greater degree of racism and had different effects on age, depression, and health status. Differences may be suggestive of protective factors that mitigate effects of these major predictors.