Date of Conferral







Kelly Davis


While a comorbid relationship between substance abuse and depression in Caucasian adults has been widely documented, comorbid substance abuse and depression in minorities remains unexplored, leaving a gap in knowledge concerning the treatment of these comorbid disorders in the fastest growing population in the United States. Cognitive behavior theory posits that specific stressors increase the likelihood of substance abuse. These factors may include structural discrimination experienced by minorities. This quantitative, pretest-posttest archival study examined the effects of a substance abuse treatment program in reducing comorbid depressive symptoms among 317 participants from 3 minority subgroups and a comparison nonminority group enrolled in a court-mandated residential program in Texas. Depression scores were assessed at intake and 30 days later by the Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment-Psychological Functioning. Using gender and age as covariates, a 2 x 2 and a 2 x 3 mixed ANOVA design evaluated changes in depression scores among different racial groups. All participants who completed treatment experienced a significant decline in symptoms associated with depression. By adding to the existing literature regarding the successful treatment of those who participate in a CBT-oriented therapy, this study informs programs seeking successful strategies in helping minorities to enter and complete treatment, which lends itself to positive social change. Further, the efficacy of CBT-oriented therapies across all groups, regardless of race or ethnic identity, provides a unique opportunity for counselors and doctors to develop successful long-term strategies for patients struggling with comorbid substance abuse and depression.