Culturally Specific Parent Mental Distress, Parent–Child Relations and Youth Depression among Korean American Families
The study examined the interrelationships between parental distress, family processes, and child depressive symptoms among Korean American families. Path analyses was used to examine the effects of parents’ culturally specific and somatic symptoms of mental distress on parent–child relationships and child mental health outcomes among a sample of Korean American youth (N = 220), mothers (N = 272), and fathers (N = 164). Independent analyses for fathers and mothers revealed that for Korean American fathers, both cultural symptoms and somatic symptoms were directly related to youth-reported dimensions of family process and indirectly with youth depression. For mothers, direct and indirect pathways between parental distress (i.e., culturally specific and somatic symptoms) and youth depression were non-significant. Our findings suggest that family interventions with Korean immigrant families should consider cultural and gender-specific factors in both parental mental health and family relationships.
KeywordsKorean Americans Cultural symptoms Intergenerational conflict Parent–child relationships Youth depression
M.Y.: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. T.Y.K. analyzed the data and wrote part of the results. Y.C.: assisted with the data analyses, collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (#K01 MH069910).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Chicago institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Angold, A., Costello, E.J., Messer, S.C., Pickles, A., Winder, F., & Silver, D. (1995). The development of a short questionnaire for use in epidemiological studies of depression in children and adolescents. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 5, 237–249.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th edn Appendix I Outline for Cultural Formulation and Glossary of Culture-Bound Syndromes (pp. 345–428). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Barrera, M., Prelow, H. M., Dumka, L. E., Gonzales, N. A., Knight, G. P., & Michaels, M. L., et al. (2002). Pathways from family economic conditions to adolescents’ distress: Supportive parenting, stressors outside the family, and deviant peers. Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 135–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K.A. Bollen & J.S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136–162). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Chao, R. K., & Tseng, V. (2002). Parenting of Asians. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of Parenting 4, (59–93). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Choi, Y. (2007). Korean American Families (KAF) Project Measures.School of Social Service Administration. University of Chicago.Google Scholar
- Cummings, E. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., Raymond, J. (2004). Fathers in family context: Effects of marital quality and marital conflict. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (pp. 196–221). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
- Gavin, A. R., Walton, E., Chae, D. H., Alegria, M., Jackson, J. S., & Takeuchi, D. (2010). The associations between socio-economic status and major depressive disorder among Blacks, Latinos, Asians and non-Hispanic Whites: Findings from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies. Psychological Medicine, 40, 51–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gravetter, F., & Wallnau, L. (2014). Essentials of statistics for the behavioral sciences. 8th edn. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
- Hirshfeld-Becker, D. R., Micco, J. A., Henin, A., Petty, C., Faraone, S. V., Mazursky, H., Bruett, L., Rosenbaum, J. F., & Biederman, J. (2012). Psychopathology in adolescent offspring of parents with panic disorder, major depression, or both: A 10-year follow-up. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(11), 1175–1184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kisch, J., Leino, E., & Silverman, M. M. (2005). Aspects of suicidal behavior, depression, and treatment in college students: Results from the spring 2000 National College Health Assessment Survey. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 35(1), 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1521/suli.184.108.40.206263.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling. 2nd edn. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Kusche, C. A., Greenberg, M. T., & Beilke, R. (1988). Seattle personality questionnaire for young school-aged children. Seattle: University of Washington, Department of Psychology.Google Scholar
- Lee, J., Lei, A., & Sue, S. (2001). The current state of mental health research on Asian Americans. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 3(3/4), 159–178.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2013). Mplus user’s guide. Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.Google Scholar
- Park, A.S. (1993). The wounded heart of God. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.Google Scholar
- Pew Center Research (2015). Social & demographic trends: Korean Americans. Retrieved from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/asianamericans-graphics/koreans/
- Rice, D. P., Kelman, S., Miller, L. S., & Dunmeyer, S. (1990). The economic costs of alcohol and drug abuse and mental illness: 1985. San Francisco: University of California, Institute for Health and Aging.Google Scholar
- Rohner, R. P., (2005). Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire(PARQ): Test manual. In: P. Rohner, A. Khaleque, (Eds.) Handbook for the study of parental acceptance and rejection. 4th edn. (pp. 43–106). Storrs, CT: Rohner Research Publications.Google Scholar
- Uba, L. (1994). Asian Americans: Personality patterns, identity and mental health. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. (2010). World Health Organization: Mental Health. Retrieved 5 November 2010, from http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/.