Acculturation Gap Distress among Latino Youth: Prospective Links to Family Processes and Youth Depressive Symptoms, Alcohol Use, and Academic Performance
Latino youth have higher rates of educational and mental health difficulties compared to peers from other racial/ethnic groups. To understand the factors related to such maladjustment, a mediational model linking youth report of parent-youth acculturation gaps to prospective changes (from spring to fall semester) in youth report of academic performance, depressive symptoms and alcohol use via youth report of parent-youth conflict and family cohesion, was studied in a sample of 248 U.S.—and foreign—born Latino youth (Mage = 15.21 years; 50% female; 67% U.S.-born). Parent-youth acculturation gaps were associated with changes in youth academic performance across two semesters via their negative impact on family functioning. For U.S.-born youth, parent–youth acculturation gaps were also linked to changes in alcohol use via parent-adolescent conflict. Results provide some support for the acculturative gap hypotheses while unique findings across nativity groups suggest that such individual-level characteristics may serve as important sources of variation for Latino youth.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-017-0753-x
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