Predictors of feelings of depression among Asian American college students
Park, Julie J.
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The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between various collegiate experiences including substance use, religiosity, campus climate, academic life, social life, self-concept, satisfaction with college, and perceived feelings of depression among Asian American college students compared to other racial groups. Employing Astin’s (1993) I-E-O model, the study utilized the 2008 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) the Freshman Survey (TFS) and the follow up College Senior Survey (CSS) in 2012 with the final sample of 10,710 students including 951 Asian American students. Descriptive analysis, cross-tabulations, blocked hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the equality of the unstandardized beta coefficients from the regression analyses, and a one-way ANOVA were conducted for the data analysis. Asian American students who are female, from low SES backgrounds, academically less achieved, frequent substance users, less religiously involved, and less satisfied with overall college experiences showed higher levels of feeling depressed. For the rate of feeling depressed across racial groups, Asian American college students showed the highest rate of feeling depressed while White students reported the lowest rate of feeling depressed. For Asian American college students, feeling depressed in high school, hours spent per week on studying and homework, and self-confidence in intellectual ability were the most significant predictors of feelings of depression while drinking beer, drinking liquor, spirituality, failing to complete homework on time, hours spent per week on socializing, self rated self-confidence in social ability, and satisfaction with overall college experiences were significant predictors of feelings of depression. Asian American college students spent the longest hours on studying and homework, reported the highest GPA, but showed the lowest self-confidence on intellectual ability. For all four racial groups, feeling depressed in high school and self-confidence in intellectual ability were significant predictors of feelings of depression in common. Implications for practice and directions for future research emphasize the need for better understanding the unique cultural background and impact of academic life associated with feelings of depression among Asian American college students and developing customized psycho-educational and outreach programs to meet unique needs for psychological well-being for each racial group on campus.