According to Buzi, Smith, and Weinman (2014), one of the most chronic conditions today is the major depressive disorder (MDD). As per the U.S department of health and human services, 8% of the U.S. population aged between 12 to 17 years had at least one MDD episode in 2010. The researchers also found out the rate of mental illness among individuals who are 18-25 years was twice as high in comparison to the rate of mental illness among elderly individuals aged 50 years and above.
Additionally, males were found to experience more persistent depressive symptoms from adolescence into adulthood than females, with Non-Hispanic African American males having the highest rates of MDD at 13.2%, followed by Hispanics or Latinos (12.7%) and lastlynon-Hispanic whites (8.7%). However, despite the fact that males suffer from depression, just like females, very few male individuals seek mental help because of the pressure conceal weaknesses as well as their vulnerabilities.
A place where males have an opportunity to seek mental help is a family planning clinic that provides access to reproductive health services to males. However, because research on males' mental health needs in these settings is scant, Buzi, Smith, and Weinman (2014), used this setting to assess depression among 535 Hispanic and African American males aged between 14 and 27.
An association exists between depression in males and socio-demographics as well as between depression in males and services they request that are related to relationships, their feelings, physical issues as well as well-being.
Firstly, the research study included 535 participants who were mainly African American and Hispanic Young males who attended a family planning clinic. Participants were recruited by the researchers during their visit to the clinic on male designated days. The overall sample size reflected 61% of the males who were seen at the clinic during the study period. The researchers obtained informed consent from all the participants before data was collected. Additionally, to protect the confidentiality of participants involved in the research study, every participant had to complete the questionnaire in a private room. Data obtained was analyzed using the chi-square test.
Characteristics of Participants
The researcher used a diverse group of participants in their research. Firstly, as highlighted above, the research study included African Americans (66%) and Hispanic (34%), young males. 92.2 percent of the participants were single, while only 31 percent were fathers. 46.6 percent of participants were in school, and 67.2 percent had graduated high school or were in college. Lastly, a total of 196 participants were employed, and 124 had health insurance.
Variables Used in the Research Study
The dependent variable in the study is depression. Participant's depression levels were measured using the Center for Epidemiologies Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). This variable was measured on an ordinal level of measurement since participants were asked to rate items such as
Depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, loss of appetite, poor concentration, and sleep disturbance, and possible scores ranged from 0 to 60, with higher scores indicating more severe depressive symptoms.
The two independent variables in the research study were, participant’s sociodemographic characteristics such as their ethnicity, school status, age, marital status, employment status as well as fatherhood status as well as service requests from participants that included services to assist with relationships, health screenings, anger management, employment, as well as education. The two independent variables were measured on a nominal scale since they had no quantitative value associated with them.
Chi-square analyses were used by the researchers to determine if an association existed between depression and sociodemographic characteristics because these variables are categorical variables. The results indicated that Hispanic males were more depressed than African American males. Additionally, depressed males requested services related to STD prevention, getting along with family and partners, getting a job, working out, eating well, testicular cancer, college applications/loans, as well as emergency contraception.
The researchers concluded that an association exists between depression and a person’s race. They also asserted that depression is also associated with the type of services requested by young minority males attending a family planning clinic.