The relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among young Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch

Eur J Public Health. 2011 Aug;21(4):477-83. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq093. Epub 2010 Jul 9.


Background: This study examines the associations between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch adolescents and young adults living in the Netherlands.

Methods: We analysed cross-sectional data from a sample of 199 Turkish-Dutch and 153 Moroccan-Dutch respondents, aged 15-24 years, using multiple logistic regression analyses. Discrimination was measured on group level and personal level. Depression was measured by the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D).

Results: Respondents that experienced perceived discrimination on a personal level were more likely than those that experienced no perceived discrimination to have depression (OR = 3.21, 95% CI = 1.59-6.47). This association was larger for the Moroccan-Dutch (OR = 5.32, 95% CI = 1.75-16.16) compared with the Turkish-Dutch (OR = 2.76, 95% CI = 1.03-7.40). Analysis of separate group level discrimination items, measuring different domains, revealed an association between discrimination on school and depression for the Moroccan-Dutch (OR = 2.80, 95% CI = 1.16-6.78).

Conclusion: Personal level perceived discrimination is associated with depressive symptoms among young minority group members with a Turkish or Moroccan cultural background. This indicates that discrimination is an important factor that should be taken into account in developing public health policies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Morocco / ethnology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prejudice*
  • Prevalence
  • Turkey / ethnology
  • Young Adult