Exploring Expressions of Depression in Black Single Mothers

Rahshida Atkins, Gale Gage, Terri Ann Kelly, Paule V. Joseph, Shanda Johnson, Kafilat Ojo, Wanda Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Problem: This study investigates the experience of depression from the perspective of Black single mothers, an understudied diverse-sub-group who consistently report high levels of depressive symptoms that go undetected and untreated. Participants: The sample consisted of 210 Black single mothers aged 18–45 who reside in urban communities. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used to categorize the responses of Black single mothers to an open-ended question that asks about feelings of depression according to the four domains of the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Percentages and frequencies were used to describe the results of the analysis. Findings: The 303 usable responses were most consistent with the depressed affect domain (N = 172), followed by somatic activity (N = 108), interpersonal symptoms (N = 21), and lack of positive affect (N = 2). The most prevalent raw responses included sadness (N = 59), forms of anger (N = 48), depressed (N = 24), cry (N = 23), do not want to be around people (N = 21), lonely (N = 17), tired (N = 16), and stressed (N = 12). Conclusions/Implications: Consider culture and individualized assessments to explore feelings of anger and sadness when screening for depressive symptoms in specific sub-groups of Black single mothers. Consider the use of appropriate screening tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-945
Number of pages11
JournalIssues in mental health nursing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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