Mexican-origin youths' trajectories of depressive symptoms: The role of familism values

Katharine H. Zeiders, Kimberly A. Updegraff, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Lorey A. Wheeler, Norma J. Perez-Brena, Sue A. Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose To describe Mexican-origin youths' trajectories of depressive symptoms from early to late adolescence and examine the role of three aspects of familism values: supportive, obligation, and referent. Methods Mexican-origin adolescents (N = 492) participated in home interviews and provided self-reports of depressive symptoms and cultural values at four assessments across an 8-year span. Using a cohort sequential design and accounting for the nesting within the 246 families (two youths per family), we examined depressive symptoms from ages 12 to 22 years and the within-person, between-sibling, and between-family effects of familism values. Results Mexican-origin males' depressive symptoms decreased across adolescence, whereas females' symptoms exhibited a cubic pattern of change. Results revealed that increases in supportive and referent familism values within individuals and across families were related to lower levels of depressive symptoms. Findings were most pronounced for referent familism values, as a between-sibling effect also emerged. Obligation familism values were not associated with depressive symptoms. Conclusions Our findings provide important descriptive information about Mexican-origin youths' depressive symptoms and highlight the promotive role of familism values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-654
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohort-sequential design
  • Cultural values
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Familism values
  • Mexican-origin adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Mexican-origin youths' trajectories of depressive symptoms: The role of familism values'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this