Longitudinal Effects of Latino Parent Cultural Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Family Functioning on Youth Emotional Well-Being and Health Risk Behaviors

Elma I. Lorenzo-Blanco, Alan Meca, Jennifer B. Unger, Andrea Romero, José Szapocznik, Brandy Piña-Watson, Miguel Ángel Cano, Byron L. Zamboanga, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Sabrina E. Des Rosiers, Daniel W. Soto, Juan A. Villamar, Karina M. Lizzi, Monica Pattarroyo, Seth J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

U.S. Latino parents can face cultural stressors in the form of acculturative stress, perceived discrimination, and a negative context of reception. It stands to reason that these cultural stressors may negatively impact Latino youth's emotional well-being and health risk behaviors by increasing parents' depressive symptoms and compromising the overall functioning of the family. To test this possibility, we analyzed data from a six-wave longitudinal study with 302 recently immigrated (<5 years in the United States) Latino parents (74% mothers, Mage = 41.09 years) and their adolescent children (47% female, Mage = 14.51 years). Results of a cross-lagged analysis indicated that parent cultural stress predicted greater parent depressive symptoms (and not vice versa). Both parent cultural stress and depressive symptoms, in turn, predicted lower parent-reported family functioning, which mediated the links from parent cultural stress and depressive symptoms to youth alcohol and cigarette use. Parent cultural stress also predicted lower youth-reported family functioning, which mediated the link from parent cultural stress to youth self-esteem. Finally, mediation analyses indicated that parent cultural stress predicted youth alcohol use by a way of parent depressive symptoms and parent-reported family functioning. Our findings point to parent depressive symptoms and family functioning as key mediators in the links from parent cultural stress to youth emotional well-being and health risk behaviors. We discuss implications for research and preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-996
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Cultural Stress
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Family Stress
  • Health Risk Behaviors
  • Latino Families

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    Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Meca, A., Unger, J. B., Romero, A., Szapocznik, J., Piña-Watson, B., Cano, M. Á., Zamboanga, B. L., Baezconde-Garbanati, L., Des Rosiers, S. E., Soto, D. W., Villamar, J. A., Lizzi, K. M., Pattarroyo, M., & Schwartz, S. J. (2017). Longitudinal Effects of Latino Parent Cultural Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Family Functioning on Youth Emotional Well-Being and Health Risk Behaviors. Family Process, 56(4), 981-996. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12258