Interpersonal mediators linking acculturation stressors to subsequent internalizing symptoms and self-esteem in Latino adolescents

Paul Richard Smokowski, Martica Bacallao, Rachel Lee Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The specific aim of this study was to examine pathways leading to internalizing symptoms and self-esteem in Latino adolescents. Adolescent feelings of interpersonal humiliation, family conflict and commitment, and friendships with peers were investigated as potential mediators linking acculturation stress to subsequent adolescent self-esteem and internalizing symptoms. Path analyses on data from a sample of 288 Latino adolescents (average age 15 years; 66% foreign-born) showed that acculturation conflicts and perceived discrimination were risk factors for both internalizing problems at baseline and parent-adolescent conflict 6 months later. Baseline internalizing problems, and Time 2 variables (humiliation, parent-adolescent conflict, negative peer relationships, and changes in familism) mediated the effects of acculturation stress on Time 3 (T3) internalizing symptoms and self-esteem. Latino cultural involvement was a key cultural asset, impacting T3 internalizing. symptoms and self-esteem by decreasing feelings of humiliation and by promoting familism. Familism was also a critical cultural asset associated with lower parent-adolescent conflict and higher self-esteem. Study limitations and implications for practice with Latino families were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1045
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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