Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 97 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Hazel M Prelow

Committee Members

Leslie Halpern, Mitch Earleywine


Depression in adolescence, Hispanic American teenagers, African American teenagers, Poor teenagers, Depression, Mental

Subject Categories



The current study examined the developmental patterns of nine depression symptoms (including traditional, masculine, and somatic symptoms of depression) in a sample of low-income, urban African American and Hispanic youth at early (10-12) and late (16-19) adolescence, and examined differences between males and females depressive profiles at each stage. Additionally, this study identified predictors of latent class membership (ethnic group and stress) at each time point. For this secondary analysis of data, a total of 610 early adolescents were selected from the Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study (Cherlin, 1999; Cherlin et al., 2001), which reduced to 453 late adolescents 6 years later. Four classes were identified for each of the four Latent Class Analyses conducted. Latent class composition was relatively stable over time, with boys demonstrating non-clinical depression, externalizing, and mixed classes of depression, and girls demonstrating non-clinical depression, mixed, and severe mixed patterns of depression symptoms at early and late adolescence. Stress was only a significant covariate for girls (with increasing stress predicting increasing likelihood of membership in the more severe mixed classes, but lowering the probability of membership in the other classes); ethnic group did not predict class membership in any analysis. Developmental changes in specific symptom endorsement were seen for both sexes. The results of this study indicate that there are distinct patterns of symptoms in at-risk, low-income minority children when depression is examined using non-traditional variables. Overall, this study suggests that there are common patterns of depression that change over development and are influenced by diverse factors to create differences between males and females. Identifying these common patterns of depression in developmentally-appropriate ways and understanding risk factors for these patterns are important for determining the most appropriate treatment for each individual.

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