Protective Neighborhoods: The Influence of Percent Mexican American on Depressive Symptoms

Kerstin Gerst, University of Texas Medical Branch
Patricia Y. Miranda, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Kristin Sheffield, University of Texas Medical Branch
M. Kristen Peek, University of Texas Medical Branch
Kyriakos S. Markides, University of Texas Medical Branch

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association between neighborhood percentage Mexican American and depressive symptoms among older Mexican Americans and to evaluate any differences by gender. DESIGN: Hierarchical linear models using data from wave 5 (2004-2005) of the longitudinal Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE). SETTING: 386 neighborhoods across five states in the Southwestern United States. PARTICIPANTS: 1,875 community dwelling Mexican American men and women aged 75 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Depressive symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Neighborhood percent Mexican American and percent poverty were calculated using data from Census 2000 and linked to H-EPESE data. RESULTS: Among men, there was a negative association between neighborhood density of Mexican Americans and depressive symptoms (P=.011); this association was not seen among women. CONCLUSION: Enclaves matter more for older adult men than women. This has research as well as clinical and policy implications.

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Presented in Poster Session 7