Preliminary examination of ethnic group differences in adolescent girls' attitudes toward depression treatments

Nicole E. Caporino, Jason I. Chen, Marc S. Karver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Efficacious treatments are only valuable to the extent that they are used. Given ethnic disparities in mental health service utilization, this preliminary study examined differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White (NHW) adolescents' ratings of the acceptability of depression treatments and related constructs. Female high school students (N = 67; 54% Hispanic) read a vignette describing a depressed adolescent and rated the acceptability of four single treatments for depression (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and pharmacotherapy) and three treatment combinations. Hispanic adolescents completed a self-report measure of acculturation and all adolescents were interviewed about their beliefs of the causes of depression. Results showed more similarities than differences between ethnic groups, with Hispanic and NHW adolescents favoring psychological treatments over pharmacotherapy. Among Hispanic participants, overall ratings of treatment acceptability were significantly higher for bicultural adolescents than Hispanic adolescents immersed predominantly in non-Hispanic culture. Hispanic and NHW adolescents generally showed similar beliefs about the causes of depression, with both groups endorsing personality and cognitions at high rates, but Hispanics were significantly less likely than NHWs to endorse trauma as a cause of depression. Implications for decreasing ethnic disparities in unmet need for treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Adolescents
  • Depression
  • Ethnicity
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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