Neighborhood Contexts, Fathers, and Mexican American Young Adolescents' Internalizing Symptoms.

School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University.
Journal of Marriage and Family (Impact Factor: 3.01). 02/2012; 74(1):152-166. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00878.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The family stress model posits that contextual stressors, such as neighborhood danger, negatively influence youth adjustment, including internalizing symptoms, via disruptions in parenting and family processes. The current study examined a culturally and contextually modified family stress model in a diverse sample of Mexican origin fathers and their children (N = 463) from the Southwestern U.S. Results supported the hypothesized negative influence of neighborhood danger on youth internalizing symptoms via disruptions in family cohesion. Paternal warmth did not play a role in linking contextual stress to outcomes. The role of harsh parenting was highly nuanced. Results suggest that both culture and context have the potential to moderate putative family stress model associations for specific parenting behaviors and further our understanding of the ways that culture and context may operate in models of family stress and youth outcomes.

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    ABSTRACT: Studies of stress consistently have linked individuals' experiences of stress to maladjustment, but limited attention has been given to cultural stressors commonly experienced by minority individuals. To address this, the current study examined the links between cultural stressors and prospective changes in mental health symptoms in a sample of 710 (49 % female) Mexican American youth. In addition, the moderating role of both family and neighborhood cohesion was examined. In-home interviews were completed with youth, mothers (required) and fathers (optional) to collect data on youth's experiences of cultural stressors (discrimination and language hassles) and internalizing/externalizing behavior, and mothers' report of family cohesion and mothers' and fathers' report of neighborhood cohesion. Analyses revealed that youth's experiences of discrimination and language hassles at 5th grade were related positively to increases in internalizing symptoms at 7th grade. Additionally, youths who reported higher levels of language hassles in 5th grade experienced increases in externalizing symptoms across the 2-year span. Both family and neighborhood cohesion emerged as significant moderating factors but their impact was conditional on youth's gender and nativity. Limitations and future implications are discussed.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2012; · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To begin accounting for cultural and contextual factors related to child rearing among Mexican American parents we examined whether parents' Mexican American cultural values and perceptions of neighborhood danger influenced patterns of parenting behavior in two-parent Mexican-origin families living in the U.S. To avoid forcing Mexican American parents into a predefined model of parenting styles, we used latent profile analysis to identify unique patterns of responsiveness and demandingness among mothers and fathers. Analyses were conducted using parent self-reports on parenting and replicated with youth reports on mothers' and fathers' parenting. Across reporters, most mothers and fathers exhibited a pattern of responsiveness and demandingness consistent with authoritative parenting. A small portion of parents exhibited a pattern of less-involved parenting. None of the patterns were indicative of authoritarianism. There was a modicum of evidence for no nonsense parenting among fathers. Both neighborhood danger and parents' cultural values were associated with the likelihood of employing one style of parenting over another. The value of using person-centered analytical techniques to examine parenting among Mexican Americans is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 06/2013; 27(3):365-75. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an integrated model for understanding Mexican American youth mental health within family, neighborhood, and cultural contexts. We combined two common perspectives on neighborhood effects to hypothesize that (a) parents' perceptions of neighborhood risk would negatively impact their children's mental health by disrupting key parenting and family processes, and (b) objective neighborhood risk would alter the effect parent and family processes had on youth mental health. We further incorporated a cultural perspective to hypothesize that an ethnic minority group's culture-specific values may support parents to successfully confront neighborhood risk. We provided a conservative test of the integrated model by simultaneously examining three parenting and family process variables: maternal warmth, maternal harsh parenting, and family cohesion. The hypothesized model was estimated prospectively in a diverse, community-based sample of Mexican American adolescents and their mothers (N = 749) living in the southwestern United States. Support for specific elements of the hypothesized model varied depending on the parenting or family process variable examined. For family cohesion results were consistent with the combined neighborhood perspectives. The effects of maternal warmth on youth mental health were altered by objective neighborhood risk. For harsh parenting, results were somewhat consistent with the cultural perspective. The value of the integrated model for research on the impacts of family, neighborhood, and cultural contexts on youth mental health are discussed, as are implications for preventive interventions for Mexican American families and youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 08/2012; 26(5):793-804. · 1.89 Impact Factor


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May 28, 2014