Parental Control for Latinas and Non-Latinas: Implications for Emerging Adult Mental Health

Abstract

Objectives

The overall goal of this study was to develop a stronger understanding of the role of culture in shaping the experience of parental control and its mental health implications for emerging adults. Specifically, the study focused parental psychological and behavioral control, and their potential implications for emerging adults’ hopelessness and depressive symptoms. A core hypothesis is that associations of parental control with mental health would differ between Latinas and non-Latinas because of cultural differences in parental expectations and parent-child dynamics. Additionally, similarities and differences in the role of mothers’ and fathers’ control were explored.

Methods

The sample consisted of 330 female emerging adults, including 146 Latinas and 184 non-Latinas. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of parental psychological and behavioral control, of mothers and fathers separately, and mental health indicators.

Results

Results from path models demonstrated the relevance of mothers’ psychological control for both Latinas and non-Latinas, while differential implications of mothers’ behavioral control were found for Latinas and non-Latinas. In addition, mothers’ psychological control appeared to be more salient than fathers’ psychological control for female emerging adults’ mental health.

Conclusions

The role of culture in the function of parental control for emerging adults’ mental health is discussed.

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Author Contributions

A.S. designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. J.G. collaborated with the design and writing of the manuscript. M.C. analyzed the data, wrote part of the results, and provided feedback on the manuscript.

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Shigeto, A., Grzywacz, J.G. & Cui, M. Parental Control for Latinas and Non-Latinas: Implications for Emerging Adult Mental Health. J Child Fam Stud 28, 1071–1083 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01345-4

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Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Hopelessness
  • Latino culture
  • Parental control