Youth who do not identify with or value their families (i.e., low family centrality) are considered to be at risk for maladjustment. However, the current study investigated whether low family centrality may be adaptive in negative family contexts (i.e., high family conflict) because youth’s self-worth should be less tied to the quality of their family relationships. Multilevel models using daily diaries and latent variable interactions using longitudinal questionnaires indicated that, among a sample of 428 Mexican American adolescents (49.8% male, Mage = 15.02 years), lower family centrality was generally detrimental to youth’s well-being. However, for youth in adverse family environments, low family centrality ceased to function as a risk factor. The present findings suggest that family centrality values play a more nuanced role in youth well-being than previously believed, such that low family centrality may be an adaptive response to significant family challenges.
- Family conflict
- Family relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)