Depressive symptoms among adolescents in Georgia: the role of ethnicity, low self-control, parents, and peers

Magda Javakhishvili, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Helen Phagava, Karaman Pagava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The present study tested the role of low self-control, positive parental and peer relationships, and ethnic minority status (Armenian or Azeri), in explaining variability in depressive symptoms in Georgian youth. Methods: Self-report data were collected from N = 8254 adolescents in Georgia (55.5% female, M age = 15.57, SD 1.03). Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM) with latent constructs. Results: Low self-control significantly and positively predicted depressive symptoms, while perceived parental warmth did so negatively; peer friendship quality was unrelated. Ethnic minority status explained a very small amount of unique variance in depressive symptoms for Azeri youth only, not for Armenian adolescents. Multi-group SEM moderation tests provided evidence that the links between constructs were invariant across ethnic groups. The model explained 15.6% of variance in depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Findings support the salience of the tested depressive symptom correlates among Georgian adolescents, consistent with previous evidence from other countries. Adolescent ethnic minority status did not increase risk of depressive symptoms. Self-control emerged as the strongest correlate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1382
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are indebted to all study participants. Data collection was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SCOPES 7 GEPj065646).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+).

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescence
  • Armenian
  • Azeri
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Ethnic minority
  • Georgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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