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11-07-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2016

Differences in Internalizing Symptoms Across Specific Ethnic Minority Groups: An Analysis Across Chinese American, Filipino American, Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, and White Youth

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2016
Kelsie H. Okamura, Chad Ebesutani, Rachel Bloom, Charmaine K. Higa-McMillan, Brad J. Nakamura, Bruce F. Chorpita


Research to date on child and adolescent anxiety and depression have focused predominantly on major ethnic groups. Very few studies to date have been conducted on specific ethnic minority groups and the relatively few studies on these ethnic minority samples have produced mixed findings. The following question therefore still remains: Do specific ethnic subgroups differ with respect to their expression of anxiety and depression? And do these differences differ as a function of reporter type (i.e., youth versus parent)? If the expression of internalizing symptoms differs across specific ethnic subgroups, these differences could inform approaches to assessing and treating these populations. In the current study, we therefore examined ethnic differences in anxiety and depression symptoms in ethnic subgroups. A total of 629 children and adolescents from various public and private schools, aged 8–18 years (M = 12.37, SD = 2.8) and their caregivers completed anxiety and depression scales. Multiple indicators, multiple causes confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the following specific ethic subgroups were associated with significantly greater anxiety and depression relative to Caucasian youth: Chinese American, Filipino American, Japanese American, and Native Hawaiian. These results were found only among parent (but not youth) reports. Age and low SES status was also associated with more internalizing problems among Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese American youth. Implications related to ethnic minority subgroup differences and the role of multi-informant reports in understanding the relationship between anxiety, depression and ethnic minority subgroups are discussed.

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