Latino parent acculturation stress: Longitudinal effects on family functioning and youth emotional and behavioral health

J Fam Psychol. 2016 Dec;30(8):966-976. doi: 10.1037/fam0000223. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Latino parents can experience acculturation stressors, and according to the Family Stress Model (FSM), parent stress can influence youth mental health and substance use by negatively affecting family functioning. To understand how acculturation stressors come together and unfold over time to influence youth mental health and substance use outcomes, the current study investigated the trajectory of a latent parent acculturation stress factor and its influence on youth mental health and substance use via parent-and youth-reported family functioning. Data came from a 6-wave, school-based survey with 302 recent (<5 years) immigrant Latino parents (74% mothers, Mage = 41.09 years) and their adolescents (47% female, Mage = 14.51 years). Parents' reports of discrimination, negative context of reception, and acculturative stress loaded onto a latent factor of acculturation stress at each of the first 4 time points. Earlier levels of and increases in parent acculturation stress predicted worse youth-reported family functioning. Additionally, earlier levels of parent acculturation stress predicted worse parent-reported family functioning and increases in parent acculturation stress predicted better parent-reported family functioning. While youth-reported positive family functioning predicted higher self-esteem, lower symptoms of depression, and lower aggressive and rule-breaking behavior in youth, parent-reported family positive functioning predicted lower youth alcohol and cigarette use. Findings highlight the need for Latino youth preventive interventions to target parent acculturation stress and family functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Webcast

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Conduct Disorder / ethnology
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Family Relations / ethnology*
  • Family Relations / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parenting / ethnology*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*