Race, gender, and a primary diagnosis of depressive/mood disorders : outcomes from the National Rehabilitation Services administration data file
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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the United States for persons 15 through 44 years of age, affecting about 6.7 percent of the country’s population. Despite its high incidence and prevalence, MDD often is stigmatized despite it being the number one disability in the United States. Additionally, minorities historically are under-represented and under-served in rehabilitation counseling (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). Further, according to prior studies, the race/ethnicity with the greatest percentage of people experiencing MDD was the Black, Non-Hispanic group. For these reasons, this researcher chose to focus on the largest racial/ethnic group affected by the number one disability in the country. This study seeks to learn how to maximize the opportunity for a successful employment outcome for African Americans in the state and federal vocational rehabilitation counseling system that have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). To achieve that goal the study will look for variables common to African American consumers in the state and federal VR system with MDD as a primary diagnosis with cases that have been closed as “Employment without supports in Integrated Setting,” also referred to as a successful closure.