Note:  Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Margarita Azmitia, Psychology Department SS2, University of California, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA 95064, U.S.A. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: This study investigated age and ethnicity variations in the association between patterns of perceived emotional support from family, friends, and teachers and depression in early and late adolescents during their transition to junior high school and college. Eighty-seven early and 106 late adolescents participated. Cluster analyses revealed four patterns: Youth who received emotional support only from friends and teachers were distinguishable from youth who received support from all three domains, only from their family, or only from teachers. Perceiving support from all three domains was associated with the lowest depressive symptoms. However, ethnic majority adolescents benefited more from this pattern than ethnic minority adolescents. To some degree, high emotional support in one domain cross-buffered low emotional support in another. Contrary to predictions, high family support protected ethnic minority adolescents only when other sources of support were not available.
Keywords: Social support, school transitions, adolescence, minority groups, depression-emotion