Longitudinal Effects of Latino Parent Cultural Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Family Functioning on Youth Emotional Well-Being and Health Risk Behaviors

Fam Process. 2017 Dec;56(4):981-996. doi: 10.1111/famp.12258. Epub 2016 Oct 23.

Abstract

U.S. Latino parents can face cultural stressors in the form of acculturative stress, perceived discrimination, and a negative context of reception. It stands to reason that these cultural stressors may negatively impact Latino youth's emotional well-being and health risk behaviors by increasing parents' depressive symptoms and compromising the overall functioning of the family. To test this possibility, we analyzed data from a six-wave longitudinal study with 302 recently immigrated (<5 years in the United States) Latino parents (74% mothers, Mage = 41.09 years) and their adolescent children (47% female, Mage = 14.51 years). Results of a cross-lagged analysis indicated that parent cultural stress predicted greater parent depressive symptoms (and not vice versa). Both parent cultural stress and depressive symptoms, in turn, predicted lower parent-reported family functioning, which mediated the links from parent cultural stress and depressive symptoms to youth alcohol and cigarette use. Parent cultural stress also predicted lower youth-reported family functioning, which mediated the link from parent cultural stress to youth self-esteem. Finally, mediation analyses indicated that parent cultural stress predicted youth alcohol use by a way of parent depressive symptoms and parent-reported family functioning. Our findings point to parent depressive symptoms and family functioning as key mediators in the links from parent cultural stress to youth emotional well-being and health risk behaviors. We discuss implications for research and preventive interventions.

Keywords: Cultural Stress; Emotional Well-Being; Family Stress; Health Risk Behaviors; Latino Families; bienestar emocional; comportamientos de riesgo para la salud; estrés cultural; estrés familiar; familias latinas; 健康风险行为; 家庭压力; 情感健康; 拉丁裔家庭; 文化压力.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Adult
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Family Relations / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Risk Behaviors
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parenting / ethnology*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • United States