The Effects of Race and Gender on Depression Among People in Interracial Relationships

Hannah Corrado, Abigail Caselli, and Laura Machia, Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, 410 Huntington Hall, Syracuse, NY, 13244

People in interracial relationships experience discrimination, which can harm the mental health of each member. We hypothesized a main effect of both gender (i.e., women reporting more depression) and race (i.e., Black and Hispanic partners reporting more depression) on self-reports of depression. Additionally, we predicted an interaction between race and gender on depression such that, Black and Hispanic women will report more depression. To test our predictions, we used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants were qualified for our study if they were in an interracial relationship for over six months, born in the United States, identified as heterosexual, and over 18 years old (N = 261). Participants earned $1.80 for completing various measures. To assess depression, we used the Depression-Happiness Scale, a measure of how happy a person is comparative to their depression level (i.e., lower scores indicate more self-reported depression). We did not find either main effect or significant interaction on depression. Although consistent with our hypothesis, yet non-significant, Hispanic women reported the lowest scores on the Depression-Happiness Scale (M = 2.75, SD = .48), indicating greater self-report depression. Previous research suggests being in a high-quality romantic relationship can have benefits for partners’ mental health. In our sample, we believe this was the case since more happiness and less depression were associated with people being more committed and satisfied in their relationship. A potential limitation to our work was assessing depression in long-term relationships (32% in a relationship for over five years) since high relationship quality has been established. Future research should examine mental health in less stable interracial relationships where mental health concerns could be more prominent due to the lack of relationship quality. Overall, additional research is needed to examine the impact of discrimination on interracial couples, since they are becoming more common in the United States.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Hannah Corrado, Abigail Caselli

Institution: Syracuse University

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6577