Cultural stressors, internalizing symptoms, and parent-child alienation among Mexican-origin adolescents

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2021-12-03

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Wen, Wen, M.A.

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Abstract

The current study investigated the relation of various cultural stressors, parent-child alienation, and Mexican-origin adolescents’ internalizing symptoms at both between- and within- person levels across the course of adolescence. Positive parent-child relationships can be a critical buffer against cultural stressors for Mexican-origin adolescents. However, it is unclear whether positive parent-child relationships (i.e., low level of parent-child alienation) (1) protects against different types of cultural stressors, and (2) functions at the between- or within-person level from early to late adolescence. Method: The current study used a three-wave longitudinal dataset of 604 Mexican-origin adolescents (Wave 1: Mage = 12.41, SD = 0.97, 54% female) and conducted multilevel analysis. At the between-person level, overall low parent-child alienation buffered the adverse effects of ethnic discrimination on anxiety and the detrimental impact of cultural misfit on depressive symptoms. There were no significant within-person level interactions of parent-child alienation and cultural stressors on adolescent internalizing symptoms. The findings suggest that interventions should aim to reduce parent-child alienation throughout the course of adolescence to alleviate the impact of cultural stressors on internalizing symptoms among Mexican-origin adolescents

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