Latinos and Depression

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November 7, 2012 by chrystalferreira

In Kristen E. Zychinski and Antonio J. Polo’s article, “Academic Achievement and Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Latino Youth,” Zynchinski and Polo have tried to measure the correlation between self-efficacy, goal setting, stress, achievement, and depression in the Latino youth. Zychinski and Polo hypothesized that academic achievement and depressive symptoms are directly correlated. In their research they discovered that the Latino youth in the United States is performing at lower academic levels and demonstrating higher levels of depressive symptoms. Academic self-efficacy and performance avoidance orientation were significantly correlated with the relationship between academic achievement and depressive symptoms. As well as, student GPA and standardized test scores were significantly and negatively correlated with the students depressive symptoms.

The Latino youth commonly live in low income, urban school districts and have a lower high school completion rate compared to African American and European American students.  To add onto their burden of academic difficulties, the Latino youth exemplify higher rates of depressive symptoms on the Children’s Depression Inventory than any other ethnic group. Zychinski and Polo conducted evidence from an elementary school in Chicago, with 87.4% of the population low-income Latino students. The negative correlation is developed between academic self-efficacy and academic achievement, which result in depressive symptoms. When a student demonstrates low self-efficacy their academic achieve is also low and vice versa. When Latino students come from a low-income background, the main goal is not always academics, their main goal can often times be independence and the strive to make it in the United States system, whether they be successful in the school systems or not. In most cases, a student’s academic achievement solely relies on their academic goal and approach to academic activities, negativity produces negative results.

Using the information presented in this article, I would create a stable argument that Latinos exemplify a high level of depressive symptoms when adapting to the American culture, which includes the social and education aspect of the culture. The parts that would be most useful would be the evidence from both high school and elementary school, providing an understanding that the depression is not age specific nor is it clear-cut. The only part I might disagree with is the self-efficacy relating to the socio-economic background; although the majority was clearly presented in low-income environments it does not mean that it restricts Latinos to these boundaries.

Symptoms In Low-Income Latino Youth.” Journal Of Child & Family Studies 21.4

(2012): 565-577. Academic Search Complete. Web. 07 November 2012.


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