Examining the role of parental factors on depression among Urban African American youth living in public housing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Publication Date


Date Added



This study examined the potential risk and protective parental factors associated with depression among African American youth living in public housing. Utilizing a community-based participatory research approach, 239 African-American youth surveys were collected during 2013–2014 in two urban public housing developments with low socioeconomic profiles. Over half (52.3%) of the sample was in high school and female (58%). 65.3% reported living with their mother while 38% reported being employed. Bivariate analysis revealed significant correlations between depression and maternal substance abuse, paternal monitoring, parent-child relationship, and family time. Results from the regression analyses indicated that higher depression scores were significantly associated with youth who reported poor parent-child relationships, low levels of paternal supervision and high levels of maternal drug abuse. These findings provide support for claims about the importance of parent-child relationship and paternal monitoring as a protective factor for depressive symptoms, particularly during adolescence. Moreover, findings suggest that interventions which are targeted towards urban African American youth should address parental factors as a pathway to decrease depression among this population.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Carter, Takisha J.; Nebbitt, Von