Abstract: COVID-19 Stigma and Depression (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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305P COVID-19 Stigma and Depression

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Rahbel Rahman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Fordham University
Sameena Azhar, PhD, Assistant Professor, Fordham University, New York, NY
Laura Wernick, PhD, Associate Professor, Fordham University, New York, NY
Debbie Huang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, NY
Tina Maschi, PhD, Professor, Fordham University, New York, NY
Cassidy Rosenblatt, BA, MSW Student, Fordham University - Graduate School of Social Service, New York, NY
Rupal Patel, BA, MSW Student, Fordham University - Graduate School of Social Service, New York, NY
OBJECTIVE: Our study seeks to understand how COVID-19 stigma, race/ethnicity [Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, white] and residency [New York City (NYC) resident vs. non-NYC resident] predict depression.

METHODs: We analyzed cross-sectional survey data collected from August to November 2020 using the Qualtrics platform. Our sample included 568 participants of which 260 (45.77%) were NYC residents and 308 (54.3%) were non-NYC residents. Depression was assessed through the CESD-R-10. Descriptive statistics were run for the sample demographics and then stratified by residency (NYC and non-NYC). A series of multiple linear regression were run to examine the relationship between race/ethnicity, COVID-19 stigma and depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Irrespective of residency, having older age (b =-0.07, p=0.001), identifying as female (b=-1.14, p=0.035), and being non-Hispanic Asian (b=-1.8, p=0.018) were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Stigma (b=1.96, p=0.004) and thinking less of oneself (b=1.05, p=<.0001) were significantly associated with depressive symptoms across residency. A significant interaction was found between thinking less of oneself and identifying as Hispanic Black (Total sample: b= -2.54, p<0.0001; NYC resident: b= -2.28, p=0.011; non-NYC residents: b=-2.56, p=0.012).

CONCLUSION: Our study expects to benefit social workers and public health professionals in designing best practices to mitigate stigma in the context of ongoing or future pandemics.