Depression constitutes one of the greatest sources of morbidity and mortality for U.S. adolescents. Latinx are the fastest growing U.S. adolescent population, particularly in rural communities, and suffer from depression at higher rates than other racial/ethnic groups. Informed by community perspectives on adolescent health, we examined factors associated with depression among Latinx early adolescents in an agricultural community. We surveyed 599 predominantly Latinx 8th graders (12 to 15 years old) recruited from middle schools in Salinas, California. Depression was measured cross-sectionally with the Patient Health Questionnaire-8. Exposures included environmental, cultural, and family factors, assessed using validated measures. We used hierarchical logistic regression guided by Garcia Coll's Model for the Study of Developmental Competencies in Minority Children to examine associations between protective factors within each domain and depression. Eighty-six of the 599 youth (14%) scored above the clinical threshold for depression, with higher prevalence among females (19%) than males (10%), p = .001. Environmental (school connectedness and neighborhood social cohesion) and family factors were associated with a lower odds of depression (all p ≤ .01). Social cohesion in neighborhoods and family communication offered similarly strong protective associations with depression. Increased language assimilation was associated with an increased odds of depression (p = .007).
Family and school connectedness associated with lower depression among Latinx early adolescents in an agricultural county