The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Group Work Interventions Aimed At Reducing Depressive Symptoms and Enhancing Psychosocial Competence Among Black Women

Friday, January 18, 2013: 2:30 PM
Marina 4 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
* noted as presenting author
Lani V. Jones, PhD, MSW, Professor, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY
Purpose: Black women are considered to be at higher risk than their White counterparts for experiencing environmental, biological, and psychosocial risk factors that contribute to depression. Frequently their mental health treatment experiences are infused with undeniable acts of discrimination contributing to feelings of oppression and powerlessness. Research indicates the need for strengths-based mental health practice frameworks, such as psychosocial competence, that emphasize culturally congruent models of care. This study examined the efficacy of a culturally congruent group treatment model, entitled ‘‘Claiming Your Connections'' (CYC) aimed at reducing depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and enhancing psychosocial competence (locus of control and active coping) among Black women. 

Method:  58 Black women recruited from health and human service community-based organizations were randomly assigned to either the CYC intervention or a wait-list control group. Women in the CYC program attended weekly group intervention sessions over a 10-week period, and the wait-list control group did not receive any treatment for the same duration.  Differences between groups were analyzed for the main effects of condition, time and interaction using random effects regression models.

Results: At pretreatment both groups indicated moderate levels of depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and psychosocial competence. After the intervention, the CYC group reported a significant reduction in depressive symptoms (CES-D: F (1, 56) 1⁄4 10.9, p < .01; BDI-II: F (1, 56) 1⁄4 13.2, p < .001) and perceived stress   F (1, 56) 1⁄4 5.16, p < .05).  There were no statistically significant differences over time between the intervention and control groups on measures of internal–external locus of control, F (1, 56) 1⁄4 0.42, or active coping, F (1, 56) 1⁄4 0.75. 

Conclusion/implications: The results of these findings offer preliminary data on the effectiveness of culturally congruent group interventions with Black women aimed at decreasing depressive symptoms and enhancing psychosocial competence.  Further, the results of this study highlight the potential of a culturally congruent group intervention with Black women to reduce depressive symptoms and stress.