Coping and Culture: The Protective Effects of Shift-&-Persist and Ethnic-Racial Identity on Depressive Symptoms in Latinx Youth

Abstract

Shift-&-persist is a coping strategy that has been shown to lead to positive health outcomes in low-SES youth but has not yet been examined with respect to psychological health. This study tests whether the shift-&-persist coping strategy works in tandem with ethnic-racial identity to protect against depressive symptoms in the face of two uncontrollable stressors: economic hardship and peer discrimination. In a sample of 175 Latinx youth (51.4% female; Mage = 12.9), shift-&-persist buffered the positive relation between economic hardship and depressive symptoms. In terms of peer discrimination, among youth who reported little use of shift and persist, discrimination was related to higher depressive symptoms, whereas youth who reported higher amounts of shift and persist (at and above the mean) were protected and did not evidence this association. However, among youth with high ethnic-racial identity, shift-&-persist failed to protect against the deleterious association between peer discrimination and depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that shift-&-persist is protective for Latinx youth, although the context in which it is protective changes based on the racialized/non-racialized nature of the stressor.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A person-centered approach was first attempted using shift-&-persist, centrality, and private regard as predictors in a latent profile analysis but model indices indicated that, partly due to a small number of indicators and limited variability with respect to ethnic-racial identity, multiple, distinct profiles did not exist within the data.

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Authors’ Contributions

All authors contributed significantly intellectually to the current manuscript. K.C. helped conceive the current study from an existing data set, conducted the statistical analyses, and drafted the majority of the manuscript; G.L.S. helped conceive the current study from an existing data set, helped plan the statistical analyses, and edited the manuscript; M.Y.M.R. and M.C. conducted portions of the literature review and manuscript preparation; M.J. contributed to the analytic interpretation and manuscript preparation; L.M.G. and L.K. helped conceive and design the original study, secured funding, contributed to data collection, and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This research was supported by internal faculty grants from Wake Forest and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We thank the participating families, staff, and research assistants who took part in this study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of Wake Forest and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available.

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Correspondence to N. Keita Christophe.

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The La Familia Study was granted ethical approval by the Institutional Review Board (Protocol # 13-087) of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Appendix

Appendix

To justify measuring shift and persist as one construct, a principle components analysis with an oblique rotation (direct oblimin) was conducted in SPSS version 25. Sampling adequacy was acceptable (KMO = 0.79). Two components, a shift and a persist component, were requested, both producing eigenvalue’s over Kaiser’s criterion of 1. Together, these two components explained 46.49% of the variance in the 13 items. An oblique rotation, which allows the two factors to be correlated with each other (Field 2013), was conducted due to the proposed significant correlation between shift and persist. The rotated factor loadings, the post-rotation eigenvalues, the percentage of the variance explained by each factor, and the reliability of each factor are shown in the Table 4. Overall, the items that load onto each factor suggest that factor 1 represents shift, while factor 2 represents persist. When treated as subscales of the one construct shift-&-persist, these subscales were significantly positively correlated (r = 0.279, p < 0.001). Based on these findings, in conjunction with theoretical work asserting that shift and persist are most effective when operating in tandem (Chen and Miller 2012) and past empirical work measuring shift-&-persist as one construct (Lam et al. 2018), subsequent analyses were conducted using the 13-item measure of shift-&-persist.

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Christophe, N.K., Stein, G.L., Martin Romero, M.Y. et al. Coping and Culture: The Protective Effects of Shift-&-Persist and Ethnic-Racial Identity on Depressive Symptoms in Latinx Youth. J Youth Adolescence 48, 1592–1604 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01037-8

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Keywords

  • Shift-&-persist
  • Ethnic-racial identity
  • Discrimination
  • Latinx youth