Depression and suicide ideation among Asian American youth: A twelve year longitudinal analysis


Park, So-Young (2015). Depression and suicide ideation among Asian American youth: A twelve year longitudinal analysis.


The current study investigated the longitudinal dynamics of depression and suicide ideation. Models of causal relationships between contextual risk factors (perceived prejudice from peers and teachers, school connectedness, family and youth financial well-being) and mental health outcomes (depressive symptoms, suicide ideation) among Asian American and European American youth were examined across key developmental periods--adolescence, early young adulthood, and young adulthood. Data came from a nationally representative school-based study, the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health (Add health). A total of 1,538 Asian Americans and 8,369 European Americans were analyzed. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used for analyses. Findings of this study suggested cascading effects of depression and suicide ideation across developmental periods for most ethnic groups. Early depression and suicide ideation were associated with an elevated risk of later depression and suicide ideation for both Asian American and European American youth. There were group differences among Asian American groups categorized by immigration status and language spoken in the home. Immigrant Asian Americans as well as those born in the U.S. but who speak other languages in the home (a less "acculturated" Asian group) had the highest levels of depression as compared to Asian youth who were born in the US and whose families speak English (a more "acculturated" Asian group). For the more acculturated Asian group, perceived prejudice on the part of teachers was a statistically significant predictor for adolescent depression, but not for the less acculturated Asian group. The relationships between school connectedness and adolescent mental health were relatively weak for both Asian American groups. Findings from this study documented 1) the long-term trajectories of depression and suicide ideation across ethnicity; 2) the important roles of school environment and social class in predicting mental health outcomes over time; and 3) mental health disparities across and within ethnic groups. Implications for social work research and practice were discussed.



Social sciences


Copyright - Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2015

Reference Type


Book Title

Social Work


Park, So-Young

Series Author(s)

Jaccard, James

Year Published


Volume Number





New York University

City of Publication

Ann Arbor





Reference ID