Racial/Ethnic Differences in Depression During the Transition to High School: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
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This study investigates racial/ethnic differences in the change in depressive symptoms during the transition to high school. Weighted multivariable linear regression was used to assess the change in depressive symptoms from eighth grade to ninth grade using data from Wave I and Wave II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Analyses revealed that non-Hispanic Black adolescents had a significantly greater increase in depressive symptoms compared to non-Hispanic White adolescents (b = 1.39, p < 0.01). Moreover, biracial/multiracial adolescents showed the greatest increase in depressive symptoms compared to non-Hispanic Whites; however this was not statistically significant (b = 2.38, p = 0.15). These findings suggest that the transition to high school is a difficult period in psychological adjustment, particularly for non-Hispanic Black and biracial/multiracial adolescents. Furthermore, these findings highlight the need for more research concerning racial identity development and the mental health of biracial/multiracial populations.