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Anxiety and Self-Esteem: A Qualitative Study with Female Mexican American Adolescents and Mental Health Therapists

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This study explored the interplay between self-reported symptoms of anxiety and selfesteem from the perspectives of female Mexican American adolescents and mental health therapists living in Arizona. Sixteen adolescents completed a semi-structured interview and 17 mental health therapists participated in focus groups via Zoom from June 2021 through May 2022. Six main themes to describe the interplay between anxiety and self-esteem emerged: interplay between anxiety and self-esteem; influence of external factors, such as home, school, and peer relationships; strategies and resources to address mental health; perceptions of how one is viewed by others; social pressures and stress; navigating multiple cultural backgrounds and trends. This study concludes that while adolescents and mental health therapists collectively agree on the interplay of anxiety and self-esteem, there is a disconnect between the perspectives which is attributable to the various roles and expectations female Mexican American adolescents experience.

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The authors would like to thank Anne Medill and Luis Fernandez for thoughtful contributions to the data entry and interpretation. The authors gratefully acknowledge use of the services and facilities of the Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative at Northern Arizona University (U54MD012388). We would also like to thank Amy Hughes, research librarian, for her assistance with conducting the literature search.


No funding was received for conducting this study.

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The authors confirm contribution to the paper as follows: study conception and design: Mommaerts, K.; data collection: Mommaerts, K.; analysis and interpretation of results: Mommaerts, K.; draft manuscript preparation: Mommaerts, K.; manuscript review and editing: Mommaerts, K., Camplain, R., Sabo, S., Lininger, M. All authors reviewed the results and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Katherine Mommaerts.

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The research team followed the ethical guidelines and procedures regarding human subject research, specifically pertaining to research with children, as outlined by the university’s IRB.

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Mommaerts, K., Camplain, R., Sabo, S. et al. Anxiety and Self-Esteem: A Qualitative Study with Female Mexican American Adolescents and Mental Health Therapists. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2024).

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