Ethnic differences in attributions and treatment expectancies for adolescent depression

Rachel H. Jacobs, Jesse B. Klein, Mark A. Reinecke*, Susan G. Silva, Simon Tonev, Alfiee Breland-Breland, Zoran Martinovich, Christopher J. Kratochvil, Amy J. Rezac, Jennifer Jones, John S. March

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Studies suggest that ethnicity and socioeconomic factors may relate to differences in treatment expectancies and the attributions made for emotional or behavioral problems. We examined ethnic differences in (1) parents’ attributions about the causes of adolescent behavioral and emotional problems and (2) treatment expectancies among 236 adolescent participants who enrolled in a 36–week randomized controlled trial for depression. Controlling for education and income, European American parents were more likely to endorse beliefs reflecting physical causes of depression than African American parents. There were no ethnic differences for beliefs reflecting external, familial, or community factors. Ethnic differences were observed in the treatment expectancies reported by parents, but not adolescents, with African American parents more likely than European Americans and Other minorities to endorse positive expectations for CBT. These findings may have implications for understanding discrepancies in mental health service use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Cognitive Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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