Matching Items (12)

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Environmental risks, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and mental health symptomatology in Mexican American youth: a two-study approach

Description

In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts

In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts were examined utilizing a person-centered approach and focusing on MA adolescents' family, peer, and cultural risk factors in fifth grade (N = 750). Environmental contexts were then linked to mental health symptomatology in seventh grade. Results revealed three distinct environmental contexts: Low risk, Moderate risk-language, and High risk-peer. Youth in the High-risk peer context reported the highest levels of symptomatology; greater major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, conduct disorder (CD)/oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) symptoms than youth experiencing Low risk or Moderate risk-language context. Females, in particular, experiencing the High risk peer context appeared at greatest risk for MDD symptoms. Finally, adolescents in the Moderate risk-language context displayed similar levels of symptoms to the individuals in the Low risk context, with the exception of higher anxiety. This study suggested that MA youth live in unique environmental contexts and these contexts are differentially related to mental health symptomatology. In the second study, 98 MA youth participated in a three-day diurnal cortisol protocol in hopes of linking perceptions of discrimination and HPA diurnal cortisol rhythms. Results revealed that discrimination was related to greater overall cortisol output and marginally related to the cortisol awakening response and evening levels of cortisol. Results suggest that important physiological processes underlie the experiences of discrimination.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Sport participation and alcohol use during adolescence: mediators and moderators explaining the positive relation

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Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote

Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is explained by peers and that the relation varies based on the models adolescents are exposed to. This study tested mediators (popularity and friends' alcohol use) and moderators (sport-focus, teammates' alcohol use, gender, popularity, and friends' alcohol use) for the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. Analyses were conducted through path models in Mplus v5.1. The sample included 48,390 adolescents (mean age=15.8 years; 51% female) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In the self-administered in-school questionnaire, adolescents reported on their activity participation, alcohol use, friendship nominations, and demographic characteristics. Friend indicators were based on friends' self-reported alcohol use. Results suggested that popularity mediated, but did not moderate the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. In contrast, friends' alcohol use moderated, but did not mediate this relation. The relation was positive and strongest for sport-focused adolescents, and for adolescents whose teammates and sport friends used high levels of alcohol. The findings of this study suggest athletes are at an elevated risk for alcohol use, but not all athletes drink. Peers are important predictors, such that, sport participation may be related to alcohol use, partially, because it promotes adolescents' social status. The sport context is also important, such that, athletes are more likely to use alcohol if they are highly involved in sports, and they have sport friends and teammates who drink. Specific types of athletes, such as popular athletes, should be targeted for alcohol use interventions. Intervention programs should also be designed to capture specific aspects of the sport context, such as teams without no tolerance substance use policies, and highly competitive or stressful sports.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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An examination of Mexican American adolescent and adult romantic relationships

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This dissertation examined Mexican American individuals' romantic relationships within two distinct developmental periods, adolescence and adulthood. Study 1 used latent class analysis to explore whether 12th grade Mexican Americans' (N

This dissertation examined Mexican American individuals' romantic relationships within two distinct developmental periods, adolescence and adulthood. Study 1 used latent class analysis to explore whether 12th grade Mexican Americans' (N = 218) romantic relationship characteristics, cultural values, and gender created unique romantic relationship profiles. Results suggested a three-class solution: higher quality, satisfactory quality, and lower quality romantic relationships. Subsequently, associations between profiles and adolescents' adjustment variables were examined via regression analyses. Adolescents with higher and satisfactory quality romantic relationships reported greater future family expectations, higher self-esteem, and fewer externalizing symptoms than adolescents with lower quality romantic relationships. Similarly, adolescents with higher quality romantic relationships reported greater academic self-efficacy and fewer sexual partners than adolescents with lower quality romantic relationships. Finally, adolescents with higher quality romantic relationships also reported greater future family expectations and higher academic self-efficacy than adolescents with satisfactory quality romantic relationships. To summarize, results suggested that adolescents engaged in three unique types of romantic relationships with higher quality being most optimal for their adjustment. Study 2 used latent growth modeling to examine marital partners' (N = 466) intra- and inter-individual changes of acculturative stress, depressive symptoms, and marital quality. On average across the seven years, husbands' acculturative stress remained steady, but wives' significantly decreased; partners' depressive symptoms remained relatively steady, but their marital quality significantly decreased. Although partners' experiences of acculturative stress were less similar than their experiences of depressive symptoms and marital quality, overall their experiences were interconnected. Significant spillover and crossover effects emerged between partners' initial levels of acculturative stress and depressive symptoms and between depressive symptoms and marital quality. Moreover, changes in husbands' depressive symptoms were negatively associated with changes in their marital quality. Overall, results suggested that partners' experiences were interconnected across time.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Discrimination in Mexican American adolescents: : examining processes that minimize negative adjustment outcomes

Description

Recent reports have indicated that there are both mental health and educational disparities between Latino youth and their European American counterparts. Specifically, Latin youth are at a heightened risk for

Recent reports have indicated that there are both mental health and educational disparities between Latino youth and their European American counterparts. Specifically, Latin youth are at a heightened risk for negative mental health outcomes in comparison to their non-Latino youth (e.g., Eaton et al., 2008). Further, 16.7% of Latino adolescents dropped out of high school compared to 5.3% of European American youth over the past several decades (1960-2011; U.S. Department of Education, 2013). Mexican American (M.A. youth in particular, have the lowest educational attainment among all Latino ethnic groups in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). While these mental health and educational disparities have often been attributed to discrimination experiences that Latino youth encounter, there is also consistent empirical evidence linking discrimination with these maladjustment problems. These studies confirmed that discrimination directly related to depressive symptoms (e.g., Umana-Taylor et al., 2007), externalizing behaviors (Berkel et al., 2010), self-esteem (e.g., Zeiders et al., 2013), and academic outcomes (e.g., Umana-Taylor et al., 2012). Few studies to date have examined the underlying mechanisms (i.e., moderation and mediation) that help us to better understand resiliency paths for those Latino youth that display positive adjustment outcomes despite being faced with similar discrimination encounters that their maladjusted peers face. Therefore, the following two studies examined various mechanisms in which discrimination related to adjustment to better understand potential risk and resiliency processes in hopes of informing intervention research. Paper 1 explored cultural influences on the association between discrimination, active coping, and mental health outcomes in M.A. youth. Paper 2 examined how trajectories of discrimination across 5th, 7th, and 10th grades related to cultural values, externalizing behaviors, and academic outcomes in M.A. youth. Taken together, these studies provide a culturally informed overview of adjustment processes in M.A. adolescents who face discrimination in addition to identifying critical directions for future research in efforts to gaining a more contextualized and comprehensive understanding of the dynamic processes involved in discrimination and adjustment in M.A. youth.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Biculturalism, mental health, and the cultural environment: a longitudinal approach to examining the person-environment fit hypothesis

Description

Twenty-five percent of Americans are first- or second-generation immigrants (US Census, 2012). Thus, it is likely that many Americans identify with at least two cultures, that of the mainstream United

Twenty-five percent of Americans are first- or second-generation immigrants (US Census, 2012). Thus, it is likely that many Americans identify with at least two cultures, that of the mainstream United States culture, and their ethnic culture from which they came, making them bicultural. However, current understanding of the impact of biculturalism on psychological functioning is quite limited in scope, as few studies have examined this association longitudinally or considered the moderating role of the cultural environment. The present study proposed to take a more comprehensive approach in understanding the consequences of biculturalism on psychological outcomes (i.e., depression, anxiety, and substance abuse symptoms) among Mexican American adolescents, as they belong to one of largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States (US Census, 2013). The present study had two major goals. The first was to examine the influence of biculturalism on depression, anxiety, and substance abuse symptoms longitudinally over the course of two years. It was hypothesized that overall, biculturalism will lead to less depression, anxiety, and substance abuse symptoms. The results partially supported these predictions. For males, biculturalism was related to significantly fewer anxiety symptoms, but not for females. Further, no main effects of biculturalism were found for depression and substance abuse for males or females. The second goal of the study was to examine the potential moderating role of the cultural environment on the influence of biculturalism on mental health symptoms. It was hypothesized that bicultural individuals will exhibit less mental health symptoms in bicultural environments (person-environment fit) compared to more monocultural individuals (person-environment misfit). However, no differences are expected to ii emerge between bicultural and monocultural individuals in monocultural environments, as both groups should be well adapted in these settings. The results did not fully support these predictions. Though, biculturalism for male adolescents was related to significantly fewer anxiety symptoms in home environments where parents reported moderate degrees of biculturalism, and females' biculturalism was related to significantly fewer depression symptoms in neighborhood environments that were relatively bicultural; no effects of biculturalism were found in environments that were the most bicultural. The implications of the findings are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Masculinity and school engagement in middle school

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The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a

The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a sample of middle school students. Following a sample of 338 (Mage = , SDage = , 54% male, 46% Latino) students from the 7th to 8th grades, I examined how students' self-reported endorsement of and adherence to physical toughness and emotional stoicism norms of masculinity were associated with their engagement with school and their attitudes of school liking and school avoidance. I also examined whether the endorsement and adherence to these norms varied by sex and ethnicity, and whether they changed over the one-year period. Results indicated that endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of emotional stoicism were negatively associated with school engagement, after controlling for school engagement at Time 1. Furthermore, endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of physical toughness were negatively associated with attitudes of school liking even when controlling for school liking at Time 1. These results were the same boys and girls, and for Latino and White adolescents. Moreover, results indicated sex, but no ethnicity differences in traditional masculinity, such that males generally reported higher levels of endorsement and adherence to norms of physical toughness and emotional stoicism. There were also identifiable developmental patterns in traditional masculinity over a one-year period. The contributions of these findings to the current scholarship on masculinity, along with their implications for future research and practice, are discussed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Examining neighborhood, maternal, and cultural influences on Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' educational outcomes

Description

Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore,

Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore, examining predictors of Mexican-origin teen mothers' educational attainment was the main goal of the current study. Future-oriented beliefs such as educational aspirations and expectations are suggested to have positive implications for adolescents' educational attainment in general. Therefore, guided by bioecological, social capital, status attainment, social learning, and collective socialization of neighborhood theories, the current study examined neighborhood, maternal, and cultural predictors of 190 Mexican-origin parenting adolescents' educational aspirations, expectations, and attainment. With respect to maternal predictors, the study examined mother figures' (i.e., grandmothers') educational attainment, and aspirations and expectations for the adolescent as predictors of adolescents' educational attainment. Using a multi-informant, longitudinal analytic model, results suggest that adolescents' educational expectations, rather than aspirations, significantly predicted adolescents' attainment one year later. Additionally, grandmothers' educational attainment was indirectly associated with adolescents' educational attainment via the educational expectations of both the grandmother and the adolescent. Further, the neighborhood context indirectly informed adolescents' educational attainment via both grandmothers and adolescents' educational expectations. Finally, adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation was significantly associated with adolescents' educational attainment two years later. Implications regarding the importance of educational expectations and ethnic identity affirmation for at-risk parenting adolescents' educational attainment will be discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The Impact of parental enculturation via ethnic socialization: predictors of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' ethnic identity

Description

Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and,

Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and, in turn, youths' ethnic identity. In addition, we know little about how this process unfolds in specific at-risk samples of youth, such as adolescent mothers. Thus, the current prospective study examined how mothers' cultural characteristics informed adolescents' and mothers' reports of ethnic socialization, and how this, in turn, informed adolescents' ethnic identity exploration and resolution among a sample of 193 adolescent mothers and their mothers. In addition, the current study tested whether mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was directly related to adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation over time. Results indicated that mothers' familism was associated with increases in mothers' reports of maternal ethnic socialization, and, in turn, with increases in ethnic identity exploration for foreign-born adolescents, and decreases in ethnic identity exploration for U.S.-born adolescents. In addition, adolescents' reports of familial ethnic socialization were associated with increases in their ethnic identity exploration and resolution. Finally, mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was associated with increases in adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation. Findings are discussed with special attention to the importance of mothers' cultural values in how they socialize their adolescents, and this impact on adolescents' ethnic identity, as well as the implications this study has for interventions focused on bolstering positive outcomes for adolescent mothers.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Latino adolescents' organized activities: understanding the role of ethnicity and culture in shaping participation

Description

Organized activity participation is associated with a wide array of positive developmental outcomes. Latinos are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S., yet are less

Organized activity participation is associated with a wide array of positive developmental outcomes. Latinos are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S., yet are less likely to participate in organized activities than their peers. Theoretically, the alignment or fit between adolescents' and their activities' characteristics is critical to support youths' use and engagement in organized activities. Using qualitative data in Study 1, I examined parents' and adolescents' perspectives and experiences related to several indicators of ethnicity and culture in their activities. Results suggested that alignment on Spanish-language use was critical for participation. However, some Latino families did not prefer aspects of ethnicity and culture in their activities because adolescents learned about their culture with family or because adolescents wanted to fit in with their majority White peers. Study 2 tested quantitatively whether features of ethnicity and culture in the activity mattered for Latino adolescents' experiences during activities. Ethnic and cultural features in activities, particularly respect for one's ethnicity and culture, fostered positive experiences during activities. Unexpectedly, some ethnic and cultural features were detrimental, such that overt teaching about ethnicity and culture was related to negative feelings during the activity. There was little evidence that the relation between ethnic and cultural features in activities and concurrent experiences varied by Latino cultural orientation. Integrating the findings across these two studies, there was mixed evidence for the traditional theoretical notions that optimal development occurs in environments that fit with individual's characteristics. Complementary fit was optimal when adolescents' needs were considered across the many contexts in which their lives are embedded, including their families and neighborhoods. I recommend that practitioners should take care in learning about the specific families and youth that their activity serves to best understand how to meet their needs. Some aspects of culture, such as Spanish-language use may be critical for participation; other aspects may require special attention from activity leaders, such as teaching about ethnicity and culture. This dissertation is an important step in understanding how to best design activities that promote the recruitment and retention of Latino youth in organized activities.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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A cultural perspective of achievement motivation among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers

Description

The central focus of this dissertation was to build on prior research that has underscored the significance of investigating culturally informed values and beliefs to promote racial-ethnic minority youths’ adjustment.

The central focus of this dissertation was to build on prior research that has underscored the significance of investigating culturally informed values and beliefs to promote racial-ethnic minority youths’ adjustment. In particular, Study 1 examined how Mexican-origin adolescents’ endorsements of familism values contributed to and moderated established theoretical associations within the achievement motivation process (i.e., contextual environment/individual factors, motivational beliefs, achievement-related strategies) and ultimately informed educational adjustment over time, or 5 years postpartum. Findings from Study 1 supported hypotheses regarding the dual role of familism values as both a promotive and protective factor throughout the achievement motivation process. Importantly findings highlight familism as an important cultural asset to consider as a potential facilitator of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ postpartum educational attainment. In addition to examining the promotive and protective function of familism, Study 2 explored how constellations of culturally informed promotive and protective factors, based on familism values, familial ethnic socialization, mothers’ and adolescents’ education aspirations, and social support (from family, peers, and dating partners), directly informed Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ educational adjustment postpartum. Three distinct profiles emerged across social, aspirational, and familial domains, when adolescents were in their third trimester of pregnancy. Profiles were distinguished by unique patterns among study variables as a function of different levels of assets and resources. Furthermore, coresidency and economic hardship emerged as significant predictors of membership into latent profiles; and membership in specific profile groups significantly predicted educational attainment five years postpartum. Patterns of promotive/protective factors identified in the current study illustrate the importance of considering how the combination of multiple factors, across culturally salient domains, work in tandem to inform Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ long-term educational attainment. Overall study findings offer a comprehensive insight into how familism values and other culturally informed factors contribute to the achievement motivation process and educational adjustment of pregnant and parenting Mexican-origin adolescent.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016