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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Roger Katz

First Committee Member

Pam Fitzgerald

Second Committee Member

Gary Howells


Even though there has been extensive research on depression in adults, relatively little is known about depression in adolescents and children. This is especially true for adolescents and children of different ethnic backgrounds. Because depression at younger ages has been shown to predict depression in adults, and because we are becoming more ethnically diverse as a nation, the paucity of research in this area is a serious oversight. The goal of the present study was to identify the prevalence of depression in an ethnically diverse group of adolescents, as well as to identify demographic variables that may contribute to depression and life dissatisfaction in this group. The present study investigated 11 ethnic groups of adolescent males and females: Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laos/Hmong, Chinese, Japanese, Pacific Islander, Filipino, and other. Participants were recruited from a public high school in the Stockton Unified School District. Each participant was administered the Reynold's Adolescent Depression Scale (RADS), a self-report measure of depression; the DSM Scale for Depression (DSD), a DSM-IV -referenced measure of major depressive disorder; and the Life Satisfaction Scale for Adolescents (LSS-A), a measure of life satisfaction for specific domains of adolescent life. Results showed that females scored significantly higher on both depression measures. Ethnic differences were found on the measure for overall life satisfaction. Cambodians, compared to other ethnic groups, showed the lowest life satisfaction. Other significant differences were found between males and females on specific domains of life satisfaction. Socioeconomic status, family structure, and immigration status were found to contribute significantly to higher depression scores.




9780599900332 , 0599900334

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