Relationships among identity, perceived discrimination, and depressive symptoms in eight ethnic-generational groups

Roxanne A. Donovan, Que Lam Huynh, Irene J.K. Park, Su Yeong Kim, Richard M. Lee, Emily Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Examine whether personal identity confusion and ethnic identity, respectively, moderate and/or mediate the relationship between perceived discrimination (PD) and depressive symptoms (DS) in eight ethnic-generational groups. Method: The sample consisted of 9665 students (73% women; mean age 20.31) from 30 colleges and universities from around the United States. Cross-sectional data were gathered through a confidential online survey. Results: Across groups, PD and ethnic identity levels varied, while identity confusion levels were mostly similar. Neither identity confusion nor ethnic identity moderated the PD-DS relationship for any groups. However, identity confusion was a partial mediator for immigrant and nonimmigrant Hispanic/Latino(a) and White/European American participants. Identity confusion also suppressed the PD-DS relationship for Black/African American participants. Conclusions: Results highlight the need for additional research on identity confusion's role in the PD-distress link and the importance of addressing ethnicity and generation status when examining the effects of PD on college students' mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-414
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Ethnic identity
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Generation
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Personal identity

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