Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 273–292 | Cite as

Acculturation, Internalizing Mental Health Symptoms, and Self-Esteem: Cultural Experiences of Latino Adolescents in North Carolina

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Latinos Adolescents Acculturation Internalizing problems Self-esteem 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Gil AG, Wagner EF, Vega WA (2000) Acculturation, familism, and alcohol use among Latino adolescent males: longitudinal relations. J Community Psychol 28(4):443–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    United States Census Bureau (2006) Facts on the Hispanic or Latino population. http://www.census.gov/pubinfo/www/NEWhispML1.html
  3. 3.
    United States Census Bureau (2001) United States Census Bureau interactive census database. http://www.census.gov
  4. 4.
    Ramirez RR, de la Cruz GP (2003) The Hispanic population in the United States: March 2002. Available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p20-545.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2006
  5. 5.
    Suarez-Orozco C, Suarez-Orozco M (2001) Children of immigrants. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rogler LH, Cortes RS, Malgady RG (1991) Acculturation and mental health status among Hispanics. Am Psychol 46:585–597PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Balls-Organista PB, Organista KC, Kurasaki K (2003) The relation between acculturation and ethnic minority mental health. In: Chun KM, Balls Organista P, Marin G (eds) Acculturation: advances in theory, measurement, and applied research. American Psychological Association, Washington, pp 139–161Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gonzales NA, Knight GP, Morgan-Lopez A, Saenz D, Sirolli A (2002) Acculturation and the mental health of Latino youths: an integration and critique of the literature. In: Contreras JM, Kerns KA, Neal-Barnett AM (eds) Latino children and families in the United States. Greenwood, Westport, pp 45–74Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cabassa LJ (2003) Measuring acculturation: where we are and where we need to go. Hisp J␣Behav Stud 25:127–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Redfield R, Linton R, Herskovits M (1936) Memorandum for the study of acculturation. Am Anthropol 38:149–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Berry JW (1998) Acculturation stress. In: Balls Organista P, Chun KM, Marin G (eds) Readings in ethnic psychology. Routledge, New York, pp 117–122Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    de Anda D (1984) Bicultural socialization: factors affecting the minority experience. Soc Work March–April:101–107Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    LaFromboise T, Coleman HL, Gerton J (1993) Psychological impact of biculturalism: evidence and theory. Psychol Bull 114:395–412PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Al-Issa I, Tousignant M (eds) (1997) Ethnicity, immigration, and psychopathology. Plenum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Delgado M (1998) Alcohol use/abuse among Latinos: issues and examples of culturally competent service. Haworth, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gil AG, Vega WA, Dimas JM (1994) Acculturative stress and personal adjustment among Hispanic adolescent boys. J Community Psychol 22:43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Martinez RO, Dukes RL (1997) The effects of ethnic identity, ethnicity, and gender on adolescent well-being. J Youth Adolesc 26:503–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Szapocznik J, Kurtines WM (1980) Acculturation, biculturalism and adjustment among Cuban Americans. In: Padilla A (ed) Acculturation: theory, models, and some new findings. Praeger, Boulder, pp 139–159Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hovey JD, King CA (1996) Acculturative stress, depression, and suicidal ideation among immigrant and second-generation Latino adolescents. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 35:1183–1192PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Katragadda CP, Tidwell R (1998) Rural Hispanic adolescents at risk for depressive symptoms. J␣Appl Soc Psychol 28:1916–1930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Surveillance summaries, May 21, 2004. MMWR 2004:53(No. SS-2)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rumbaut RG (1995) The new Californians: comparative research findings on the educational progress of immigrant children. In: Rumbaut RG, Cornelius WA (eds) California’s immigrant children: theory, research, and implications for educational policy. Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, San Diego, pp 17–69Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Romero AJ, Roberts RE (2003) Stress within a bicultural context for adolescents of Mexican descent. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 9:171–184PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Vega WA, Gil AG, Warheit G, Zimmerman R, Apospori E (1993) Acculturation and delinquent behavior among Cuban American adolescents: toward an empirical model. Am J Community Psychol 21:113–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rasmussen KM, Negy C, Carlson R, Burns JM (1997) Suicide ideation and acculturation among low socioeconomic status Mexican-American adolescents. J Early Adolesc 17(4):390–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gonzales N, Knight GP, Birman D, Sirolli A (2004) Acculturation and enculturation among Latino youth. In: Maton K, Shellenbach C, Leadbetter BJ, Solarz AL (eds) Investing in children, youth, families, and communities: strengths-based research and policy. American Psychological Association, Washington, pp 285–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Phinney JS (1996) When we talk about American ethnic groups what do we mean? Am Psychol 31:918–927CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Phinney JS, Cantu CL, Kurtz DA (1997) Ethnic and American identity as predictors of self-esteem among African-American, Latino, and White adolescents. J Youth Adolesc 26:165–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Phinney JS, Chavira V, Tate JD (1995) Parental ethnic socialization and adolescent coping with problems related to ethnicity. J Res Adolesc 5:31–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bat-Chava Y, Steen EM (2000) Ethnic identity and self-esteem: a meta-analytic review. Unpublished manuscript cited in Gonzales NA, Knight GP, Morgan-Lopez A, Saenz D, Sirolli A (2002) Acculturation and the mental health of Latino youths: an integration and critique of the literature. In: Contreras J, Neal-Barnett A, Kerns K (eds) Latino children and families in the United States: current research and future directions. Praeger, Westport, pp 45–74Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bautista de Domanico Y, Crawford I, Wolfe AS (1994) Ethnic identity and self-concept in Mexican-American adolescents: is bicultural identity related to stress or better adjustment? Child Youth Care Forum 23:197–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Birman D (1998) Biculturalism and perceived competence of Latino immigrant adolescents. Am J Community Psychol 26:335–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Feliciano C (2001) The benefits of biculturalism: exposure to immigrant culture and dropping out of school among Asian and Latino youths. Soc Sci Q 82:865–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Miranda AO, Estrada D, Firpo-Jimenez M (2000) Differences in family cohesion, adaptability, and environment among Latino families in dissimilar stages of acculturation. Family J: Couns Ther Couples Fam 8:341–350Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rotheram-Borus MJ (1990) Adolescents’ reference-group choices, self-esteem, and adjustment. J Pers Soc Psychol 59:1075–1081PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Szapocznik J, Kurtines W, Fernandez T (1980) Biculturalism involvement and adjustment in Hispanic-American youths. Int J Intercult Relat 4:353–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Vega WA, Zimmerman R, Warheit G, Apospori E, Gil AG (1993) Risk factors for early adolescent drug use in four ethnic and racial groups. Am J Public Health 83:185–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Vega WA, Zimmerman R, Khoury E, Gil AG, Warheit G (1995) Cultural conflicts and problem behaviors of Latino adolescents in home and school environments. J Community Psychol 23:167–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Vega WA, Kolody B, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alderete E, Catalano R, Caraveo-Anduaga J (1998) Lifetime prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders among urban and rural Mexican Americans in California. Arch Gen Psychiatry 55:771–778PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Cooley C (2001) The relationship between familism and child maltreatment in Latino and Anglo families. Child Maltreat 6:130–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Vega WA (1995) The study of Latino families: a point of departure. In: Zambrana RE (ed) Understanding Latino families: scholarship, policy, and practice. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 3–17Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Robin AL, Foster SL (1989) Negotiating parent–adolescent conflict: a behavioral-family systems approach. The Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Rush AJ (2000) Task force for the handbook of psychiatric measures. Handbook of psychiatric measures. American Psychiatric Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bowen GL, Rose R, Bowen NK (2005) The reliability and validity of the school success profile. Xlibris, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Achenbach TM (1991) Manual for the child behavior checklist 4–18 and 1991 profile. University of Vermont, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Rosenberg M (1989) Society and the adolescent self-image. Revised edition. Wesleyan University Press, MiddletownGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Alwin DF, Hauser RM (1975) The decomposition of effects in path analysis. Am Sociol Rev 40:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Baron RM, Kenny DA (1986) The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol 51:1173–1182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Neter J, Kutner MH, Nachtsheim CJ, Wasserman W (1996) Applied linear regression models, 3rd edn. Irwin, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Tabachnick BG, Fidell LS (2001) Using multivariate statistics, 4th edn. Allyn and Bacon, BostonGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Bacallao ML, Smokowski PR (2005) Entre dos mundos (between two worlds): bicultural skills training with Latino immigrant families. J Prim Prev 26:485–509PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Fraser MW, Kirby LD, Smokowski PR (2004) Risk and resilience in childhood. In: Fraser MW (ed) Risk and resilience in childhood: an ecological perspective, 2nd edn. National Association of Social Workers, WashingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaGreensboroUSA

Personalised recommendations