Gender, Ethnicity and Depression: Intersectionality in Mental Health Research with African American Women

Kira Hudson Banks, Illinois Wesleyan University
Laura P. Kohn-Wood, New York University


This review synthesizes the current knowledge regarding African American women and depression. After highlighting major findings related to the epidemiology, etiology, symptomatology and treatment, we will discuss the gaps in our understanding of these factors specific to African American women. We will argue that filling in these gaps will require a theoretical framework that takes into account the intersection of race and gender. We will present an empirically defined heuristic for studying mental illness among African American women, in terms of both experiences and outcomes.