Mexican American adolescent couples’ vulnerability for observed negativity and physical violence: Pregnancy and acculturation mismatch

Lela Williams, Heidi Adams Rueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stress and vulnerability for dating violence may be heightened among acculturating Mexican American (MA) adolescents, and MA adolescent parents, because of differing cultural values and norms within romantic relationships. We hypothesized, in a sample of MA heterosexual couples (N = 30, 15–17 years), that: 1) within-couple level acculturation discrepancies, and pregnancy/parenting, would predict physical violence perpetration, and 2) that this association would have an indirect effect through couple-level negativity during an observed dyadic video-taped discussion of conflict. Using a path model we found that pregnant/parenting adolescents (B = .37, SE = .16, p = .002), and couples with greater acculturation mismatch resulted in greater couple negativity (B = .16, SE = .06, p = .01), which was associated with self-reported physical violence perpetration (B = .41, SE = .22, p = .02; indirect effect, B = .15, SE = .07, p = .03). Within-couple acculturation discrepancies and pregnancy/parenting may be a pathway to dating violence through poor communication skills around conflict for MA youth. Support services that strengthen communication skills, particularly for pregnant/parenting couples, are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescent parents
  • Culture
  • Mexican American
  • Mixed-methods
  • Observational methods
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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