Reexamining the Acculturation Gap: The Relationship Between the Bidimensional Parent-Adolescent Gap and Risky Behavior Among Mexican-Heritage Adolescents

Flavio Marsiglia, Elizabeth Kiehne, Stephanie L. Ayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elevated rates of risky behavior among Latino youth have been linked to features of acculturation such as discrepant rates of acculturation between parents and adolescents. This study examined how parent-adolescent mainstream and Mexican cultural gaps are differentially related to adolescent risky behavior through family conflict, parental monitoring, and parental involvement among Mexican immigrant families. Contrary to the acculturation gap–distress hypothesis, family conflict did not mediate the relationship between acculturation gaps and adolescent risky behavior. Whereas the mainstream cultural gap was associated with less risky adolescent behavior through increased parental monitoring and involvement, the opposite relationship emerged for the Mexican cultural gap. Findings are discussed in relation to the acculturation gap–distress model and the broader parent-child relationship context. Findings illuminate the practical, theoretical, and empirical importance of recognizing Mexican-heritage youth as embedded within an influential family milieu situated in a culturally plural context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-605
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • deviance/delinquency/truancy
  • family relations/processes
  • Hispanic/Latino/Latina
  • immigration (generational issues)
  • parenting processes/practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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