Objective: We compared measures of depressive symptoms and use of counseling in the past year for Filipino versus non-Hispanic white adolescents in California.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from 4421 adolescents who completed the 2003 and 2005 California Health Interview Survey. Bivariate analyses, linear regression, and logistic regression were performed.
Results: Compared to non-Hispanic white adolescents, Filipino adolescents had higher mean 8-item version of Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores (5.43 vs 3.94) and were more likely to report a clinically significant level of depressive symptoms (defined as 8-item version of Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score > or = 7) (29.0 vs 17.9%). Filipino adolescents are just as likely as their non-Hispanic white counterparts to report low use of counseling in the past year (17.6 vs 28.4%). Multivariate analyses indicate that depressive symptoms were positively associated with Filipino ethnicity, female gender, living in a single parent household, lower parental education, and poverty. The effect that ethnicity had on use of counseling in the past year varied by gender, income level, and parental education level. Filipino male adolescents with family incomes > or = 300% federal poverty level and parents with more than a college degree were significantly less likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to report use of counseling in the past year (odds ratio, 0.01; confidence interval, 0.0004-0.44). Filipino female adolescents with family incomes <300% federal poverty level and parental education less than a college degree were significantly more likely to report use of counseling than their non-Hispanic white counterparts (odds ratio, 3.99; confidence interval, 1.00-15.89).
Conclusion: Further studies and interventions are needed to effectively screen for and treat depression among Filipino adolescents.