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The Association between Mindfulness, Depressive Symptoms and Neuroticism in Older African Americans
Journal of Depression and Anxiety
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Source ID: shanti-sources-66486
Abstract: Background: Major depressive disorder is one of the most common psychiatric conditions. The prevalence in African Americans is less understood. Research suggests that among African Americans with clinical depression, symptoms are more likely to be persistent compared to whites. Depression may also manifest as other negative emotions such as anger, hostility, and insecurity. Negative emotionality has been linked to suboptimal health conditions and outcomes, reduced ability to cope with stress, and diminished quality of life. This is particularly the case for older African Americans. Recent research points to mindfulness as a potential buffer from negative emotions. The association between mindfulness and negative emotionality is unclear for older African Americans. Aim: The primary objective of the current study was to explore the association between mindfulness and depressive symptoms and neuroticism in an older, African-American community sample. A second objective was to examine whether these associations varied by age, sex, or education. Methods: Participants were 132 African Americans (47% male), aged 50 years or older (mean=62.7, SD=8.5), from the Washington, DC metropolitan area. On average, participants had 13.6 (SD=3.0) years of education. Participants completed the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and Neuroticism Extraversion Openness-Five-Factor-Inventory. Results: Hierarchical regression analyses showed mindfulness was negatively associated with depressive symptomatology (β =-.42, p<.001), and neuroticism (β =-.39, p<.001) after adjusting for age, sex, and education; moderation analyses revealed that these associations did not vary by age, sex, or education. Conclusions: The findings suggest that older community dwelling African Americans who are more mindful endorse lower depressive symptoms and neuroticism. Future research should investigate the usefulness of mindfulness-based interventions to promote psychological well-being in this group.