Ethnic identity, life satisfaction, and depressive symptoms for Mexican descent adolescents: Self-esteem as a mediating mechanism

Brandy Watson, Mandrila Das, L Modella, C Cantu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study investigates the mediating role of self esteem and the moderating role of gender in the relationship between ethnic identity components (i.e., exploration, resolution, affirmation) and depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Participants were 294 Mexican descent adolescents (55.4% female) ages 14 to 18 years (M = 15.27 years; SD = 1.00 years). A mediated multigroup path analysis was conducted. The final model indicated that self-esteem is a potential mediator between ethnic identity affirmation and resolution with depressive symptoms and life satisfaction due to significant indirect relationships. The full model achieved acceptable model fit. Ethnic identity exploration was not significantly related to self esteem, and no gender differences were present in the model. This study helps those working with Mexican descent youth come to a better understanding of self-esteem as a potential mechanism through which ethnic identity is related to psychological functioning (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283– 296
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - 2017


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