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Study shows depression experienced by AAPI students more than others

Photo of depression and suicide prevention billboard by Daniel via Flickr Creative Commons

The Journal of American College Health published a study that reveals Asian American college students show higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms compared to White Americans and Hispanic students.

The study showed that Asian Americans are also more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to White and Black students.

3,189 undergraduate and graduate students participated in this study with 40 percent of the students living on their university’s campus.

Student responses to the study showed that the presence of multiple minority statuses in a person can be associated with higher rates of suicide ideation and depression.

Students were asked about suicide ideation and attempts of suicide in a questionnaire. Among the questions asked, they were asked if they have ever “seriously considered attempting suicide” and “made a suicide attempt” throughout their life.

They answered on a 4-point scale: 1= “never,” 2= “prior to college,” 3= “after starting college,” and 4= “both.”

The depressive symptoms and high depression scores are most likely attributed to financial stress and past or current ideas of suicide, according to the study.

Chris Piccigallo, a resident from Brooklyn, said to Daily News, “I feel that the struggle for Asian American public school students, who need [services] just as badly, is not written about as often. As an educator myself, I see time and time again how Asian families struggle both economically and with mental health issues.”

Piccigallo continued to discuss the additional mental toll that members of the Asian American community have to face right now because of the discrimination that followed COVID-19.

Females, including those who identify as LGBTQ, showed high depressive symptom scores with a common likelihood of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts from the past. These numbers measured higher than those who are male and heterosexual individuals.

In the last decade, youth suicides increased by 56 percent in America according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study concludes that based on the results, culturally sensitive services need to be provided for people who are culturally diverse and identify with minority communities.

Although the study had a large sample size, there were insufficient subgroups. Native American or biracial/multiracial students were not included in the analysis, according to Psychiatry Advisor.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Further information and resources can be found here.

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