, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 487-496

Depressive Symptoms Among Hong Kong Adolescents: Relation to Atypical Sexual Feelings and Behaviors, Gender Dissatisfaction, Pubertal Timing, and Family and Peer Relationships

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Abstract

A representative community sample of Hong Kong boys (n = 1,024) and girls (n = 1,403), age 14–18 years, provided information regarding same-sex attraction, gender dissatisfaction, pubertal timing, early experience with sexual intercourse, and depressive symptoms. They also rated the quality of their family and peer relationships and self-perceived attractiveness. Depressive symptoms were higher in youths reporting same-sex attraction, gender dissatisfaction, early pubertal maturation, and early sexual intercourse. Family relationships were less satisfactory for those who reported same-sex attraction, gender dissatisfaction, and early sexual intercourse, and peer relationships were also worse for those who reported gender dissatisfaction. In multivariate analyses, same-sex attraction, early sexual intercourse, and early pubertal maturation were unique and direct contributors to depressive symptoms; however, gender dissatisfaction's association with depressive symptoms was largely accounted for by shared correlations with negative family and peer relationships. The multivariate model explained 11% of the variance of depressive symptoms. These findings offer a preliminary documentation of the prevalence and correlates of atypical sexual self-assessments and behavior among adolescents in Hong Kong. Such information is important if theories of sexual identity and risk factors for depressive symptoms are to have cross-cultural utility.