Parent’s Perception of Adolescents Health in Association with Child Reported Depression among Mexican American Children 10-14 Years of Age




Espinoza, Anna
Muzaffar, Omair
Fulda, Kimberly
Franks, Susan


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Purpose: Depression in children is frequent and represents a challenge to be recognized by both the family and the primary care physician. Many parents are unaware of their child’s depression and may not recognize the symptoms, and primary care physicians do not routinely screen for depression in children. Providing a connection between the family, physician, and child to recognize depression is important. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between parent’s perception of their child’s health and child reported depression among Mexican American children 10-14 years of age. Methods: One hundred and forty-four Mexican American children ages 10-14 and a parent/legal guardian participated in a cross-sectional study. Child participants completed depression screening using the child report Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI 2: Self-Report Short Version). Regression analyses were performed. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were computed. The dependent variable was child report depression screening (average/lower and high average/elevated/very elevated), and the primary independent variable was parent reported perception of the child’s health (fair/poor or good/very good/excellent). The adjusted model controlled for family income, marital status of primary care giver, highest grade completed by anyone in the household, child age, and child gender. Results: There were 74 (51.4%) male children, and the mean age was 11.97 (sd=1.45). Thirty (20.80%) of children screened high for depression, and parents reported fair/poor health for 11 (7.6%) of children. Children were more likely to screen high for depression if their parents reported their health as fair/poor [OR=11.85, (95% CI:2.65-53.05)] or if they were female [OR=3.58, (95% CI:1.37-9.35)] in the adjusted model. Conclusion: Parents perception of their child’s health is associated with child self screening high for depression. Including a simple question about how a parent rates their child’s health could provide clinical utility for primary care physicians.