National Institute on Aging

Attending an HBCU Can Have Long-Term Mental Health Benefits for Some Students

A new study by scholars at the University of Minnesota found that attending a historically Black college or university may have long-term mental health benefits for some Black students.

Researchers tracked a large group of African Americans from their high school years until many years after they attended college. They found no overall association for lower symptoms of depression for HBCU students compared to their peers who attended predominantly White schools. But they did find that HBCU students who were not from the South showed fewer symptoms of depression as young adults than their peers who attended predominantly White colleges and universities.

The study also found that for students who had displayed depression symptoms in high school, the ones who attended HBCUs showed fewer symptoms of depression later in life than those who did not attend HBCUs.

The full study, “Estimating the Long-Term Causal Effects of Attending Historically Black Colleges or Universities on Depressive Symptoms,” was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It may be accessed here.


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