Race, Status Attainment, and Depression: Intervening Effects of Consequential Life Events

Document Type

Journal Article


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date



This article develops and tests a path model of the impact of consequential life events on race differences in depression. Four sets of variables are included in the model: ascribed status and other background variables, consequential events in the life course, current status, and depression. Data from over 11,000 respondents (2,391 Blacks, 9,419 Whites) are analyzed to explore the impact of the background variables and current status on depression and to assess whether the consequential life event variables intervene between the background variables and depression. The results suggest that race difference in depression is a function of both the consequential life events and current status variables. However, disparity in current status explained most of the race differences in depressive symptoms. The analysis also found a significant interaction between race and education.