A study among Chinese-American adolescents has found that traditional family obligation such as caring for siblings or helping elders can play a positive role in lowering teenage depression symptoms.
A research article on the study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that 14-year-olds with a greater sense of family obligation were found to report fewer depressive symptoms by the time they reached 16.
The report further says that the findings indicate that family obligation may be protective against depressive symptoms.
Based on the study's results, the authors came to the conclusion that a greater sense of family obligation in the early teenage years could provide teenagers with a strong family bond, which makes them feel secure even when they move through adolescence and become more autonomous.
The longitudinal study surveyed 218 Chinese-American teenagers over a two-year period.
According to the researchers, as the participants grew older, their actions to help and support their families decreased.
However, the researchers say, the participants' attitude and respect toward their families remained stable, indicating that immigrant adolescents continue to endorse their traditional cultural values even when their behaviours suggest they are becoming less traditional.