Year: 2005 Source: Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: an International Journal, v.19, no.1, (Spring 2005), p.77-94 SIEC No: 20070762

The purpose of this study was to describe depression and suicidal ideation rates in a community sample of 182 urban fourth and fifth grade Mexican American children using the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). We used a descriptive secondary data analysis design. The mean CDI score was 9.55 (SD = 5.8). Thirty-one percent fell in the depressed range using a clinical cut point of 12 and 7% fell into the depressed range using the non-clinical cut point of 19. Thirty-eight percent (n = 69) reported suicidal ideation. The depression rate was consistent with national rates. A non-clinical cut point of 19 showed that 87% of children reporting suicidal ideation were not identified as depressed. Many of these children do not report the most typical symptoms of depression. The results of this study provide school nurses with vital information to support efforts addressing the mental health needs of Mexican American children.