Personal resources and depression in the transition to adulthood: ethnic comparisons


Based on a representative sample of 1,803 South Florida young adults, we examine the extent to which personal attributes mediate or moderate the ethnicity-depression relationship and condition the effects of social stress on depression. Our sample contains nearly equal proportions of African American, Cuban American, “other” Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white respondents. Findings suggest that there are ethnic variations in four of the five personal resources considered. Additionally, when accounting for ethnic differences in response tendencies and in the confounding of personal resources with depression, there is strong evidence for both direct and stress-buffering effects of personal resources. Although naïve comparisons of within group findings imply a number of ethnic variations in those effects, few statistically significant differences are observed. It is suggested that ethnic similarities outweigh differences, at least with respect to the mental health significance of the personal resources considered. Overall, the results highlight some of the complexities inherent in making multi-ethnic comparisons.

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Journal of Health and Social Behavior


Sage Publications

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