Submitted to: American Public Health Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2005
Publication Date: 12/10/2005
Citation: Gray, J.S., Knudson, A.D., Penland, J.G. 2005. Impact of food security on depression among Northern Plains Indians. Presented by Jacqueline S. Gray at the 133rd American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. December 10-14, 2005. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Depression is estimated to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. American Indians (AI), among the most heterogeneous and impoverished minority groups in the U.S., have the highest per capita suicide rate at 247% the national average and among 15 – 24 year olds, 429% the national average. Because of the paucity of data regarding AI depression, and the lack of information pertaining to the mental and physical health and lifestyle factors that may mediate depression in AI, a study of 458 Northern Plains Indians was conducted. The participants represented 33 tribal groups or bands, and were solicited through a mobile research lab located at native events on five reservations and three tribal colleges. Self-report questionnaires were completed and height, weight, and blood pressure were measured. Participants had the option of completing the questionnaires themselves or having the questions asked verbally. The assessments included measures of depression (BDI-II) and other aspects of mental health, food security (Core Food Security Module), quality of life, and acculturation. Data were analyzed for reliability and validity of depression measures across ages, sexes, acculturation categories, and tribal groups. Bivariate correlations showed that age, body mass index, food security, and cultural identity are related to depression differently in males and females. Regression analysis showed that in women, but not men, American Indian cultural identity was negatively (p<0.03) and body mass index was positively (p<0.03) associated with depression. Because depression was strongly associated with food insecurity, it should be considered when designing programs to prevent and treat depression among AI.