Stress and Resilience: Key Correlates of Mental Health and Substance Use in the Hispanic Community Health Study of Latino Youth

J Immigr Minor Health. 2019 Feb;21(1):4-13. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0724-7.


This study examined associations of immigrant generation, acculturation, and sources of stress and resilience with four outcomes-depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, alcohol susceptibility, and smoking susceptibility. We used data from 1466 youth (ages 8-16) enrolled in the Hispanic Community Health Study of Latino Youth (SOL Youth), a probability sample of Hispanic/Latino youth living in Chicago (IL), Miami (FL), Bronx (NY), and San Diego (CA). We found no evidence of an immigrant paradox. Greater children's acculturative stress was associated with depression/anxiety symptoms; greater parent's acculturative stress was associated with smoking susceptibility. Family functioning and children's ethnic identity were associated with fewer depression/anxiety symptoms and lower alcohol/smoking susceptibility. Although acculturation-related stressors increase youths' risks for poor mental health and substance use, the development of positive ethnic identities and close, well-functioning family support systems can help protect Latino/Hispanic children from the negative behavioral and health-related consequences of stress.

Keywords: Depression/anxiety and smoking/alcohol; Immigrant paradox; Latino/Hispanic adolescent immigrant acculturation; Mental health and substance use.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / ethnology
  • Anxiety / ethnology
  • Child
  • Cigarette Smoking / ethnology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / ethnology*
  • Public Health
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology*
  • United States / epidemiology