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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Dec;68(6):993-9.

A cross-cultural comparison of depressive symptom manifestation: China and the United States.

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Department of Psychology, Duke University, USA.


This study compared depressive symptomatology among Chinese psychiatric outpatients versus the general Chinese population, and across 3 cultural groups--Chinese, Chinese American, and Caucasian American students--by use of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D; L. S. Radloff, 1977) and the Chinese Depression Scale (N. Lin, 1989), translated from the CES-D. Results indicate that Chinese patients (n = 112) endorsed a higher proportion of somatic symptoms than nonpatients (n = 112). The intercultural comparison found that Chinese students (n = 98) had the lowest levels of somatic depressive symptom endorsement compared to both U.S. groups (n = 198). These findings seem to suggest that the tendency toward somatic symptom reporting is not any greater among Chinese populations but may be a function of having a mental illness or of help seeking in China.

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