Economic hardship and mexican-origin adolescents' adjustment: Examining adolescents' perceptions of hardship and parent-adolescent relationship quality

Melissa Y. Delgado, Sarah E. Killoren, Kimberly Updegraff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Studies examining economic hardship consistently have linked family economic hardship to adolescentadjustment via parent and family functioning, but limited attention has been given to adolescents'perceptions of these processes. To address this, the authors investigated the intervening effects ofadolescents' perceptions of economic hardship and of parent-adolescent warmth and conflict on theassociations between parental economic hardship and adolescent adjustment (i.e., depressive symptoms,risky behaviors, and school performance) in a sample of 246 Mexican-origin families. Findings revealedthat both mothers' and fathers' reports of economic hardship were positively related to adolescents'reports of economic hardship, which in turn, were negatively related to parent-adolescent warmth andpositively related to parent-adolescent conflict with both mothers and fathers. Adolescents' perceptionsof economic hardship were indirectly related to (a) depressive symptoms through warmth with mothersand conflict with mothers and fathers, (b) involvement in risky behaviors through conflict with mothersand fathers, and (c) GPA through conflict with fathers. Our findings highlight the importance ofadolescents' perceptions of family economic hardship and relationships with mothers and fathers inpredicting adolescent adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-837
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • Adolescent adjustment
  • Economic hardship
  • Mexican American families
  • Parent-adolescent relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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