Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Rebecca Ryan

Committee Member 1

Karen Naufel

Committee Member 2

Lawrence Locker

Committee Member 3

Jeffrey Klibert

Committee Member 3 Email



The present study was designed to examine patterns of mental health outcomes in older Black and White adults after the national 2008 financial crisis. The data was acquired from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study, a publicly available dataset. This longitudinal study has obtained data from a representative sample of approximately 20,000 older adults in America, aged 55 and older. The hypotheses were (1) rates of mental health indicators related to symptoms of depression will increase after the 2008 financial crisis and (2) that increase will be significantly higher in Black respondents compared to White respondents. The analysis revealed that Black participants displayed higher levels of the indicators of depression. However, the financial crisis had no significant influence on indicators of depression in this sample of older adults. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of highlighting discrepancies in mental health for Black individuals.

INDEX WORDS: Mental health, Racial disparities, Financial crisis, Gerontology

Research Data and Supplementary Material