Cultural Transmission in Mexican American Families: Considering Youth's Active Role in their Cultural Development
The adaptation and integration of the mainstream and ethnic culture are important processes to understand as they have been associated with immigrant and minority youth's adjustment and family dynamics. However, few studies focusing on youth's cultural experiences have explored youth's active role in their own cultural development, and even less have explored youth's role in influencing parents' cultural development. In the current dissertation, two studies addressed these issues by using a within-family longitudinal design to explore 246 Mexican American youth's role in their own and their families' cultural development. The first study examined the reciprocal associations in parents' and two offspring's cultural values to examine developmental differences in parent-youth socialization processes. Overall, the importance of mothers' values was highlighted as a significant predictor of increases in youths' values, five years later. In addition, Study 1 highlighted situations where youth play an active role in their parents' cultural development as youths' lower endorsement of respect for elders values was associated with increases in fathers' value endorsement, five years later. The second study explored the associations between youth's imitation and de-identification from parents and parent-youth incongruence in Mexican and Anglo cultural orientations. Youths' active role in their cultural development was underscored, as youths' reports of de-identifying from parents were linked to more incongruence in parent-youth Anglo orientations. Further, important family characteristics (i.e., parent-youth warmth and demographic similarities) were shown to predict youths' more imitation and less de-identification from parents.