Racial Differences in the Multiple Social Roles of Older Women: Implications for Depressive Symptoms
AbstractThe relationship between multiple role participation and depressive symptoms experienced by African American ( n = 547) and White ( n = 2,152) women aged 55–61 was explored. Data were obtained from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Racial differences in the social roles of marriage, employment, grandmother, care provider, and volunteer and their influence on level of depressive symptoms were examined. African Americans reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than Whites. Additionally, marriage, employment, and total number of social roles were the most powerful predictors of depressive symptoms for both African American and White women. However, employment was more important in diminishing depressive symptoms among African American than White women occupying multiple social roles.