Self-concept, early childhood depression and school retention as predictors of adolescent depression in urban Hispanic adolescents


The role that early school retention, early childhood depression and self-concept had on levels of depression in 191 urban Hispanic adolescents was investigated. This exploratory study used a purposeful sample to study relationships and thus causality cannot be inferred. Statistically significant gender differences were found for depression with females reporting more depressive symptoms and both Hispanic males and females reporting higher rates of depression than the national average. Overall retention rates were 42 percent, with the majority of students retained in kindergarten and 1st grade with a second peak in retention rates in the 8th and 9th grades. Retained students versus non-retained students had statistically significant differences in: (a) lower self-concept; (b) past feelings of depression; (c) GPA and (d) depression. Predictors of depression in order of contribution were: (a) self-concept; (b) early childhood depression; (c) retention and (d) gender. The findings in this study are generalizable only to the sample in this study and may not apply to adolescents in other ethnic groups. Implications for schools and school psychologists are noted.


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Document Type





Adolescents, Depression, Early childhood, Hispanic, Multiple regression, Retention, School, Self-concept, Urban

Publication Date


Journal Title

School Psychology International