Predicting multicultural adolescents' depression in South Korea: Roles of ego-resilience and social support

Published:April 12, 2022DOI:


      • Depressive symptoms among multicultural adolescents slightly has increased over time.
      • Higher ego-resilience levels were associated with fewer depressive symptoms.
      • Social support was inversely correlated with depression
      • Social support's moderating effect between ego-resilience and depression was not observed.
      • Intervention programs are needed to strengthen ego-resilience and social support for multicultural adolescents.



      Depressive symptoms among adolescents are a major concern for increased risk of adverse health condition outcomes later in life. Specifically, previous studies have reported that multicultural adolescents experience more depressive symptoms than non-multicultural ones. Using the Korean Children and Youth Panel Survey, this study examined the relationships between ego-resilience, social support, and depression among multicultural adolescents in South Korea, as well as the moderating effect of social support on the association between ego-resilience and depression.

      Design and methods

      A total of 1500 multicultural adolescents were included in the analyses, where generalized estimating equation models were employed.


      Depression scores increased slightly from 2012 to 2015. Higher levels of ego-resilience, family support, and friend support were associated with lower levels of depression, while teacher support was not a significant predictor. The moderating effect of friends and family support on the association between ego-resilience and depression was not statistically significant.


      To reduce the level of depression among multicultural adolescents, future research should develop interventions that enhance ego-resilience ability, as well as necessary social systems that strengthen family and friend support.

      Practice implications

      Supportive interventions, such as enhancing ego-resilience to reduce depression should be provided to multicultural adolescents. It is recommended to include family and friends to develop effective intervention programs for multicultural adolescents who are suffering from depression.


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