Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 2014–2024 | Cite as

Involuntary Engagement Stress Responses and Family Dynamics: Time-Lagged Models of Negative Mood

  • Stephanie K. BrewerEmail author
  • Catherine DeCarlo Santiago
Original Paper


Low-income Latino youth display disproportionate rates of mood problems compared with peers in other ethnic groups. Dysregulation of the stress reactivity system, reflected by involuntary engagement stress responses (IESRs), contributes to mood problems. However, two important family constructs—parent-child conflict and familism—may moderate the association between IESRs and negative mood. Parent-child conflict might exacerbate the link between IESRs and negative mood. Fortunately, low-income Latino youth may benefit from the cultural value of familism. Familism might weaken the tie between IESRs and negative mood and the tie between parent-child conflict and negative mood. The present study used a daily diary methodology and time-lagged models to examine these processes among low-income Latino adolescents. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to test the moderating effects of parent-child conflict and familism on the association between daily IESRs and negative mood. In addition, the moderating effect of familism was tested on the association between parent-child conflict and negative mood. Findings indicated that parent-child conflict exacerbated the relation between IESRs and negative mood on the same day, but not on the following day. Familism weakened the relation between IESRs and negative mood on the same day, but not on the following day. Familism fully buffered the link between parent-child conflict and negative moods, on the same day and on the following day. Thus, for low-income Latino youth, involuntary stress responses may have a significant impact on mood problems, though family-level factors are also important.


Stress reactivity Parent-child conflict Familism Negative mood Daily diary 


Author Contributions

The first author conceptualized the current study and analytic plan, conducted the data analyses, and took the lead role on writing the manuscript. The second author designed the larger study, provided oversight of study procedures, and contributed significantly to data analyses and writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent and assent were obtained from all participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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