Profiles of Language Brokering Experiences and Contextual Stressors: Implications for Adolescent Outcomes in Mexican Immigrant Families
- 661 Downloads
Adolescents from Mexican immigrant families are often embedded in a challenging social environment and experience multiple contextual stressors, including economic stress, discrimination, and foreigner stress. We consider how the effects of these contextual stressors may be amplified or diminished for adolescents who function as language brokers, interpreting and mediating for their English-limited parents. Using two waves of survey data collected from a sample (N = 604 at Wave 1; N = 483 at Wave 2) of Mexican American adolescents with ages ranging from 11 to 15 (Mage = 12.41, 54% female), four distinct brokering—stress profiles were identified. Latent profile analyses revealed that with moderate levels of contextual stress, adolescents with more positive language brokering experiences (protective group) demonstrated more favorable outcomes than those with neutral language brokering experiences (moderate group) and those who did not involve themselves as frequently in language brokering activities (less-involved group). In contrast, high levels of contextual stress, coupled with more negative language brokering experiences (risk group), produced the least favorable outcomes among adolescents.
KeywordsLanguage brokering Mexican American Economic stress Discrimination Foreigner stress
S.Y.K. created the design of the study, conceived of the study and drafted portions of the manuscript; Y.H. performed the statistical analysis and drafted portions of the manuscript. J.S. drafted portions of the manuscript. S.J.S., S.C., M.Z., K.M.P., and D.P.M. provided critical review and editing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Support for this research was provided through awards to Su Yeong Kim from (1) National Science Foundation, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, 1651128 and 0956123 (2) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 5R03HD060045-02 (3) College of Natural Sciences Catalyst Grant from the University of Texas at Austin (4) Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Grant and Special Research Grant from the University of Texas at Austin, and (5) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 2P2CHD042849-16 grant awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
Data Sharing Declaration
This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families.Google Scholar
- Anguiano, R. M. (2017). Language brokering among latino immigrant families: Moderating variables and youth outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0744-y
- Armenta, B. E., Lee, R. M., Pituc, S. T., Jung, K.-R., Park, I. J. K., Soto, J. A., & Schwartz, S. J. (2013). Where are you from? A validation of the Foreigner Objectification Scale and the psychological correlates of foreigner objectification among Asian Americans and Latinos. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 131–142. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031547.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Benner, A. D. (2017). The toll of racial/ethnic discrimination on adolescents’ adjustment. Child Development Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12241
- Berlin, K. S., Williams, N. A., & Parra, G. R. (2014). An introduction to latent variable mixture modeling (part 1): Overview and cross-sectional latent class and latent profile analyses. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39, 174–187. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jst084.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Theoretical models of human development: Vol. 1. Handbook of child psychology (pp. 993–1029). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Buriel, R., Perez, W., De Ment, T. L., Chavez, D. V., & Moran, V. R. (1998). The relationship of language brokering to academic performance, biculturalism, and self-efficacy among Latino adolescents. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 20, 283–297. https://doi.org/10.1177/07399863980203001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chao, R. K. (2006). The prevalence and consequences of adolescents’ language brokering for their immigrant parents. In M. H. Bornstein, L. R. Cote, M. H. Bornstein & L. R. Cote (Eds.), Acculturation and parent-child relationships: Measurement and development (pp. 271–296). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Conger, R. D., & Donnellan, M. B. (2007). An interactionist perspective on the socioeconomic context of human development. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 175–199. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085551.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Corona, R., Stevens, L. F., Halfond, R. W., Shaffer, C. M., Reid-Quiñones, K., & Gonzalez, T. (2012). A qualitative analysis of what Latino parents and adolescents think and feel about language brokering. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 788–798. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-011-9536-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kam, J. A., & Lazarevic, V. (2014a). Communicating for one’s family: An interdisciplinary review of language and cultural brokering in immigrant families. In E. L. Cohen (Ed.), Communication Yearbook (Vol. 38, pp. 3–37). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kam, J. A., & Lazarevic, V. (2014b). The stressful (and not so stressful) nature of language brokering: Identifying when brokering functions as a cultural stressor for Latino immigrant children in early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 1994–2011. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-013-0061-z.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kam, J. A., Marcoulides, K. M., & Merolla, A. J. (2017). Using an acculturation-stress-resilience framework to explore latent profiles of latina/o language brokers. Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12318
- Kim, S. Y., Wang, Y., Deng, S., Alvarez, R., & Li, J. (2011). Accent, perpetual foreigner stereotype, and perceived discrimination as indirect links between English proficiency and depressive symptoms in Chinese American adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 47, 289–301. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020712.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Kim, S. Y., Wang, Y., Weaver, S. R., Shen, Y., Wu-Seibold, N., & Liu, C. H. (2014). Measurement equivalence of the language-brokering scale for Chinese American adolescents and their parents. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 180–192. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036030.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Kwon, H. (2015). Intersectionality in Interaction: Immigrant youth doing American from an outsider-within position. Social Problems, 62, 623–641.Google Scholar
- López, G., & Radford, J. (2017). Statistical portrait of the foreign-born population in the United States. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
- Magnusson, D., & Stattin, H. (1998). Person-context interaction theories. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Theoretical models of human development: Vol. 1. Handbook of child psychology (pp. 685–759). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Mistry, R. S., Benner, A. D., Tan, C. S., & Kim, S. Y. (2009). Family economic stress and academic well-being among Chinese-American youth: The influence of adolescents’ perceptions of economic strain. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 279–290. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015403.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Motel, S., & Patten, E. (2012). The 10 largest Hispanic origin groups: Characteristics, rankings, top counties. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2015). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Parke, R. D., Coltrane, S., Duffy, S., Buriel, R., Dennis, J., Powers, J., & Widaman, K. F. (2004). Economic stress, parenting, and child adjustment in Mexican American and European American families. Child Development, 75, 1632–1656. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00807.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Phillips, T. M., & Pittman, J. F. (2003). Identity processes in poor adolescents: Exploring the linkages between economic disadvantage and the primary task of adolescence. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 3, 115–129. https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532706xid030202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ponnet, K. (2014). Financial stress, parent functioning and adolescent problem behavior: An actor–partner interdependence approach to family stress processes in low-, middle-, and high-income families. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 1752–1769. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0159-y.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roche, K. M., Lambert, S. F., Ghazarian, S. R., & Little, T. D. (2015). Adolescent language brokering in diverse contexts: Associations with parenting and parent–youth relationships in a new immigrant destination area. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 77–89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0154-3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Shen, Y., Kim, S. Y., Wang, Y., & Chao, R. K. (2014). Language brokering and adjustment among Chinese and Korean American adolescents: A moderated mediation model of perceived maternal sacrifice, respect for the mother, and mother–child open communication. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 5, 86–95. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035203.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (2004). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In J. T. Jost & J. Sidanius (Eds.), Political psychology: Key readings (pp. 276–293). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Tilghman-Osborne, E. M., Bámaca-Colbert, M., Witherspoon, D., Wadsworth, M. E., & Hecht, M. L. (2016). Longitudinal associations of language brokering and parent-adolescent closeness in immigrant Latino families. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 36, 319–347. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431614566944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Updegraff, K. A. (2007). Latino adolescents’ mental health: Exploring the interrelations among discrimination, ethnic identity, cultural orientation, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 549–567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2006.08.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., Zeiders, K. H., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Perez-Brena, N. J., Wheeler, L. A., & Rodríguez De Jesús, S. A. (2014). Mexican–American adolescents’ gender role attitude development: The role of adolescents’ gender and nativity and parents’ gender role attitudes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 2041–2053. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0128-5.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Varni, J. W., Seid, M., & Kurtin, P. S. (2001). PedsQL™ 4.0: Reliability and validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ Version 4.0 Generic Core Scales in healthy and patient populations. Medical Care, 39, 800–812. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005650-200108000-00006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Weisskirch, R. S. (2017). Language brokering in immigrant families: Theories and contexts. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
- White, R. M. B., Nair, R. L., & Bradley, R. H. (2018). Theorizing the benefits and costs of adaptive cultures for development. American Psychologist. (in press)Google Scholar
- Yip, T., Gee, G. C., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2008). Racial discrimination and psychological distress: The impact of ethnic identity and age among immigrant and United States-born Asian adults. Developmental Psychology, 44, 787–800. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16188.8.131.527.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Zeiders, K. H., Roosa, M. W., Knight, G. P., & Gonzales, N. A. (2013). Mexican American adolescents’ profiles of risk and mental health: A person-centered longitudinal approach. Journal of Adolescence, 36, 603–612. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.03.014.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar