Depressive symptomatology among Mexican-American adults: an examination with the CES-D Scale

Psychiatry Res. 1989 Feb;27(2):137-48. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(89)90129-7.


The presence and persistence of specific depressive symptomatology among a large sample of Mexican-American adults (n = 3,084) were examined with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Compared to studies of Anglos, a substantially larger percentage reported persistent hopelessness about the future (29%), self-depreciation (21%), and lack of enjoyment out of life (14%). The prevalence of these symptoms was higher among those who had not adapted to mainstream American society and among older participants. Women were generally more distressed than men. Factor analyses of the items demonstrated a slightly different factor structure than previously obtained with Anglos. For both sexes and for those under age 30 and ages 30-59, the items "loneliness," "sadness," and "crying" loaded on a common factor. The tendency for these items to group together was stronger for those exhibiting a low or medium degree of cultural adaptation than for those exhibiting a high degree of adaptation. Discussion focuses on the cultural variation of response to items on the CES-D.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • United States