• depressive symptoms;
  • Chinese American;
  • White;
  • latent growth curve modeling;
  • health disparities


We examined age, sex, and race/ethnicity differences in trajectories of depressive symptom from adolescence to early adulthood; we also tested whether socioeconomic status and acculturation were associated with the differences. The findings suggest that adolescents over age 15 had a higher level and faster decline in depressive symptoms than their younger counterparts; females had higher level and a faster decline in depressive symptoms than males. Chinese American females had the highest depressive symptoms sustained across 7 years; Chinese American males over age 15 had higher depressive symptoms than their White male counterparts. Neither socioeconomic status nor acculturation was significantly associated with the differences in the trajectories. Our findings suggest a need for greater attention to Chinese American adolescents' psychological well-being. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:176–191, 2011