Health risk behaviors and depressive symptoms among Hispanic adolescents: Examining acculturation discrepancies and family functioning

J Fam Psychol. 2016 Mar;30(2):254-265. doi: 10.1037/fam0000142. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Abstract

Drawing from a theory of bicultural family functioning 2 models were tested to examine the longitudinal effects of acculturation-related variables on adolescent health risk behaviors and depressive symptoms (HRB/DS) mediated by caregiver and adolescent reports of family functioning. One model examined the effects of caregiver-adolescent acculturation discrepancies in relation to family functioning and HRB/DS. A second model examined the individual effects of caregiver and adolescent acculturation components in relation to family functioning and HRB/DS. A sample of 302 recently immigrated Hispanic caregiver-child dyads completed measures of Hispanic and U.S. cultural practices, values, and identities at baseline (predictors); measures of family cohesion, family communications, and family involvement 6 months postbaseline (mediators); and only adolescents completed measures of smoking, binge drinking, inconsistent condom use, and depressive symptoms 1 year postbaseline (outcomes). Measures of family cohesion, family communications, and family involvement were used to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis to estimate the fit of a latent construct for family functioning. Key findings indicate that (a) adolescent acculturation components drove the effect of caregiver-adolescent acculturation discrepancies in relation to family functioning; (b) higher levels of adolescent family functioning were associated with less HRB/DS, whereas higher levels of caregiver family functioning were associated with more adolescent HRB/DS; (c) and only adolescent reports of family functioning mediated the effects of acculturation components and caregiver-adolescent acculturation discrepancies on HRB/DS.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Binge Drinking / ethnology
  • Communication
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Family Relations / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • United States
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology