Acculturation, internalizing mental health symptoms, and self-esteem: cultural experiences of Latino adolescents in North Carolina

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2007 Feb;37(3):273-92. doi: 10.1007/s10578-006-0035-4. Epub 2006 Nov 14.


This investigation examined acculturation risk factors and cultural assets, internalizing behavioral problems, and self-esteem in 323 Latino adolescents living in North Carolina. Multiple regression analyses revealed two risk factors-perceived discrimination and parent-adolescent conflict-as highly significant predictors of adolescent internalizing problems and low self-esteem. Adolescents who were highly involved in Latino culture and who experienced high parent-adolescent conflict were found particularly at risk for internalizing problems. Biculturalism and familism were cultural assets found associated with fewer internalizing problems and higher self-esteem. For internalizing problems, familism's protective effect was mediated by parent-adolescent conflict. Implications were discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • North Carolina
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires