DIFFERENTIAL FACTORS INFLUENCING HISPANIC/LATINX ADOLESCENT ENGAGEMENT IN MIND-BODY SKILLS GROUPS FOR DEPRESSION
thesisposted on 06.08.2021, 13:47 authored by Eduardo Francisco SalgadoEduardo Francisco Salgado
Major Depressive Disorder is a prevalent and pervasive problem in the United States, and this mental disorder disproportionately affects adolescents of color. In particular, there is little research understanding how Hispanic/Latinx adolescents utilize and engage with mental health services, such as psychotherapy, to reduce their symptoms of depression, including factors that are positively and negatively related to engagement. As such, the aims of this study were to understand whether there were any relationships between presenting characteristics of adolescents seeking therapy for depression and their subsequent engagement with therapeutic services, with a focus on analyses examining trends in Hispanic/Latinx adolescents. To investigate these aims, we utilized data from a pilot study in which adolescents (n=42) received a mind-body intervention for depression called Mind-Body Skills Groups. We examined possible relationships between depression severity, age, Hispanic/Latinx background, and their interactions with engagement, as measured by attendance rates, self-reported motivation, and at-home skills practice. We hypothesized that high depression severity, high age, and being Hispanic/Latinx would all negatively influence engagement; we also hypothesized the depression-engagement and age-engagement relationships would be moderated by Hispanic/Latinx background. Results revealed initial relationships between lower age and being Hispanic/Latinx with higher attendance rates; depression severity was not related to attendance. When these relationships were further analyzed using hierarchical regression, no significant relationships between predictor and outcomes variables, as well as their interactions, were discovered. In an exploratory analysis investigating factors of adolescent depression using subscales, greater interpersonal problems predicted higher attendance rates. Results are interpreted relative to limitations of the small sample size and possible measurement concerns within this study, including a discussion of possible ways to improve related studies on Hispanic/Latinx youth in the future.