Pathways to Depression Among Vietnamese Australian Adolescents
MetadataShow full item record
Previous research has found relatively high rates of depressive symptoms in immigrant Vietnamese adolescents. Two quantitative and one qualitative studies were conducted to examine pathways to depressive symptoms in a sample of 110 Vietnamese Australian adolescents. Study One examined the influence of family functionality, acculturative stress and ethnic identity on the participants' depressive symptoms and whether acculturative stress and ethnic identity contribute to additional variance beyond familial factors. Twenty percent of the sample reported clinical levels of depressive symptoms (compared to 12 % in the normative population). Family cohesion and parental psychological control were significantly associated with depressive symptoms; however, family conflict was not. After accounting for family variables, acculturative stress contributed an additional 10% of the variance in depressive symptoms. The qualitative data also indicated that many Vietnamese Australian adolescents reported having problems with their parents regarding cultural issues. The qualitative data also indicated that many participants reported experiencing discrimination, especially at their school. In a new sample of 106 Vietnamese Australian adolescents, Study Two examined two pathways to depressive symptoms to understand the precursors of family cohesion and acculturative stress respectively with broader contextual factors from the migration experience. Similar to Study One, 20% of participants in Study Two also reported clinical levels of depressive symptoms. The results of Study Two also confirmed two independent pathways to depression among Vietnamese Australian adolescents: (1) family interactions contributed to low levels of family cohesion which in turn contributed to Vietnamese Australian adolescent depression, and (2) perceived discrimination led to increased acculturative stress and to decreased school connectedness, which in turn affected adolescent depression. The result of the integrated pathway suggested that the interconnection between adolescents' home environment, the school and broader social context simultaneously influence their mental health. The findings of both studies indicate that Vietnamese Australian adolescents are at greater risk for depression. Clearly there is a need for an ecological approach for interventions to prevent depression in Vietnamese Australian adolescents.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Psychology
Item Access Status
Vietnamese Australian adolescents