All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Shawn Bauldry

Advisory Committee Members

Irena Stepanikova

Kristine R Hearld

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This paper explores the mediating mechanisms between internet use and depression among African Americans and Caribbean Blacks. The hypotheses are that emotional support and online support groups (OSGs) mediate the association between internet use and depression. Data come from the National Survey of American Life conducted between 2001 and 2003 that includes a nationally representative sample of African Americans and Black respondents of Caribbean descent (N=4771). Depression is measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale with 12 questions. Internet use is measured as frequency of use. Emotional support is measured by a scale of 3 questions. OSGs are measured as using the service or not. Control variables include age, gender, race, income, education, employment, marital status and immigrant status. Internet use has a direct negative effect on depression. The mediating effects of both emotional support and OSGs are not significant. Future research is recommended to design better measures for the mediating variables.

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