Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Corcoran

Second Advisor

Dr. Ioana Marinescu


Purpose: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting the prevalence of depression in low-income African American women. The secondary purpose of this review is to compare prevalence rates with non-low-income women and to determine whether moderators influenced the effect size.

Methods: Literature was searched for studies reporting prevalence data on women who were African American, low-income, and depressed. An academic librarian assisted with the search strategy, and the investigator conducted searches, data extraction, and methodological appraisal. Data analysis was performed using the meta and metafor packages in the statistical software environment R. The random-effects model was utilized to account for both between and within studies’ variances.

Results: The search process produced 59 included studies with a total of 57,357 participants. The primary result obtained for the point prevalence of depression across self-report studies was 36.6% (95% CI, 31.8% - 42.2%). Pooled results from studies using clinician-derived DSM diagnoses showed a point prevalence rate of 29.5% (95% CI, 25.8% - 33.4%).

Conclusions: Depression prevalence among Black women is high, afflicting over a third of women. When women have additional risk factors other than minority and low-income status, such as comorbid health problems and intimate partner violence, they are even more at risk.

Implications: Given high rates of depression, future research should focus on culturally adapted screening and interventions that best support positive outcomes. Treatment protocol must include sensitivity and understanding of the social factors that this group may face including systemic barrier

Available for download on Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Included in

Social Work Commons