Does It Work?: Examining the Utility of the Stress Process Model for Explaining Variations in Mental Health among African American Young Adults

Taylor Hargrove, Vanderbilt University

The stress process model has become a prominent framework for understanding social variations in mental health. Though previous studies find compelling evidence that this model adequately explains variations in mental health among and between various population subgroups, no study has applied the full model to an all African American young adult sample. Using data from the Transitions Study, I examine the utility of the stress process model to explain variations in depressive symptomatology among African American young adults using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Results indicate that overall, the model sufficiently explains variations in depressive symptoms among this subgroup. Sociodemographic characteristics shape stress exposure and availability of various social and personal resources in ways that impact depressive symptoms. Certain sociodemographic characteristics and social resources, however, seem to have a different impact on this subgroup compared to other subgroups examined in previous research. Implications of these findings are further discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 7