Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?

Head shot of Elyse Jennings

A study by researchers affiliated with the population-based study Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), including Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, finds that those study participants reporting symptoms of depression were less likely to receive some types of social support, and there were differences according to gender and marital status.

Assessing the scale for assessing depression in rural South Africa

Two South African women wearing colorful clothes

Researchers from the Harvard Pop Center in Cambridge, MA and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa who are affiliated with the HAALSI study have published a paper in the Journal of Affective Disorders that finds that the reliability of the commonly used scale to assess depression (Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale (CES-D)) differed by gender. Authors of the study include: Leslie B. Adams, Meagan Farrell, Sumaya Mall,…

When trying to receive health care for depression, discrimination does not help

Headshot of Leslie Adams

Our Bell Fellow Leslie Adams collaborated on this paper based on a qualitative component of a larger, mixed-methods, community-based participatory research study focused on understanding how health care discrimination influences depression treatment preferences. The study provides a more in-depth investigation of the implications of negative interactions in the health care sector for diverse people with lived experience of depression. The study was funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute…

Mental health status check of young adults in U.S. during first wave of COVID-19 pandemic

head shot of CIndy H. Liu

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Cindy H. Liu, PhD, and colleagues have published a study in Psychiatry Research that found that nearly half of the U.S. young adults (18-30) in the study showed high rates of depression and anxiety, and nearly a third showed high levels of PTSD symptoms. Family support was associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety.

Impact of traumatic events earlier in life still registers among older cohort in rural South Africa

Older man in South Africa sitting in a field

Researchers affiliated with a longitudinal study on aging in South Africa (HAALSI) have published a paper that examines the impact of traumatic events experienced earlier in the life course on cognition, and mental and physical health outcomes in an older South African population.

Untangling depression and anxiety using hair samples in India

Indian woman

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and her colleagues have published a study that has found a connection between higher levels of the sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and lower levels of depression when analyzing hair samples of over 2,000 women in rural India. Learn more about how other sex hormones, such as testosterone and progesterone, may factor into depressive and anxiety disorders. Other authors include: Andreas Walther, C. Tsao,…

Are brief, population-based depression measures suitable for Black men?

Headshot of Leslie Adams

Harvard Bell Fellow Leslie Adams, PhD, is lead author on a paper published in the American Journal of Men’s Health that explores whether the commonly used psychometric scale — the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) — accurately assesses depression among Black men. Findings show that several items on the CES-D scale may not fully capture the gendered depression experience for this group and should be interpreted with caution in…

Longer compulsory education not necessarily better for cognitive & mental health outcomes; a natural experiment finds differences between genders

Emilie Courtin headshot

A new study published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health examined the long-term health impacts of a policy enacted in France that extended compulsory education by two years. Lead author Emilie Courtin, PhD, a current Harvard Bell Fellow, along with Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, and faculty members Mauricio Avendano and Maria Glymour and other colleagues, found that while the reform was linked to improved cognitive…