Fifteen Hmong refugees with major depression were compared with 15 Hmong controls matched for gender, age, marital status, and rural-urban origins from the same population. Relatively few premigration factors were correlated with patient status, although social attributes with continuity from Asia to the US inveighed against depression. Numerous postmigration factors were strongly associated with patient status. Some of these latter were probably causative (e. g., sponsor characteristics), some probably resulted from stressful conditions (e. g., residence change), and some probably acted as both cause and effect (e. g., marital and health problems). As measured by self rating scales, the patients expressed considerably higher symptom levels prior to seeking treatment as compared to controls. Two years later at the time of follow up, the former patients reported fewer depressive symptoms than the controls. These findings are assessed in light of the diachronic studies of major depression and of depressive symptoms in the general population.