Rural Hispanic Adolescents at Risk for Depressive Symptoms


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Romeria Tidwell. Graduate School of Education, University of California, Moore Hall, Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521.


Levels of depression among rural Hispanic adolescents were assessed. Psychological factors affecting depression were examined. Included were family characteristics, measured by the Background Information Questionnaire; self-esteem, by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale; perceived stress level, by the Hispanic Children's Stress Inventory; acculturation, by the Cuellar Acculturation Index; and depression levels, by the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale. Results revealed moderate to severe depression symptomatology among 33% of the subjects, and mild depression symptoms among 17%. Two family structure variables, birth order and number of brothers, were significantly related to depression. Gender was an important predictor of depression, as was self-esteem. Higher stress scores were related to higher levels of depression.