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Title:How did we get here? Interrelations of substance use, segmented assimilation, and dimensions of emerging adulthood among 1st and 2nd generation Latinx emerging adults.
Author(s):Bennett, Kyle M
Director of Research:Smith, Douglas C
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Smith, Douglas C
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Piedra, Lissette M; Andrade, Flavia C; Cromley, Jennifer G
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Substance use
Latinx
emerging adults
immigration
acculturation
human development
alcohol
cannabis
SEM
mediation
Abstract:Objective: This project focuses on intersections of segmented assimilation, dimensions of emerging adulthood, stress coping, and substance use outcomes with 1st and 2nd generation Latinx emerging adults (EAs) in the United States. This project seeks to answer four primary research questions: 1) What are the associations between intergenerational patterns of acculturation and substance use with Latinx EAs, 2) What are the associations between intergenerational patterns of acculturation, developmental strain, and stress coping with Latinx EAs 3) What are the indirect/mediating effects of developmental strain during emerging adulthood and stress coping on substance use, and 4) To what extent do these mediating variables account for the association between segmented assimilation and substance use, and do they fully or partially mediate the relationship between segmented assimilation and substance use with Latinx EAs? Background: Segmented assimilation theory posits divergent avenues are available through which immigrants and their families assimilate into mainstream culture. These avenues, in turn, lead to various outcomes (e.g. stress) within immigrant minority populations. Emerging adulthood theory suggests 18-29 year olds experience unique developmental changes. Further, most alcohol and illicit substance use occurs during this period. Past research examines—separately—these theories in social contexts. No current research examines associations between segmented assimilation and substance use outcomes with Latinx emerging adults. Methods: This project sampled participants (N=537) using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) program. The current research study employed a dual-mediation structural equation model (SEM) to examine differential effects of intergenerational patterns of acculturation on substance use outcomes with Latinx EAs, as well as indirect effects of said assimilation patterns on substance use outcomes via the potential mediating variables developmental strain and stress coping. Participant responses to various acculturation and language questions determined categorization to one of three patterns of intergenerational acculturation: dissonant, consonant, or selective acculturation. Dissonant acculturation occurs, generally, when parents/primary caregivers and children acculturate to the host society at significantly different rates. Consonant acculturation occurs when parents/primary caregivers and children acculturate to the host society at roughly the same pace. Finally, selective acculturation is effectively a pattern of well-integrated biculturalism, with both parents/primary caregivers and children maintaining their culture-heritage while simultaneously adopting pieces of the host culture. Results: Participants assigned to the dissonant acculturation group, on average, self-reported more severe substance use issues across multiple indicators compared to those assigned to the consonant or selective acculturation groups. Those in the dissonant acculturation group, on average, self-reported higher scores on measures of developmental strain and stress coping as well. Effects of developmental strain and stress coping varied across measures of substance use and between patterns of intergenerational acculturation, although generally there emerged positive effects of both stress coping and developmental strain on substance use. Developmental strain and stress coping mediated the total effects of acculturation profile on substance use, although effect strength varied between acculturation profiles and substance use indicators. Overall, lower levels of developmental strain and stress coping correlated with lower levels of substance use, across acculturation profiles. Discussion: This study examined associations between segmented assimilation and substance use. In addition, this project tested the potential mediating effects of stress coping and developmental strain with a large sample of Latinx emerging adults, a vastly understudied population in substance use research. More broadly, this project is a step towards blending segmented assimilation and emerging adulthood theories, with a long-term goal being to adapt existing EA frameworks for Latinx EAs specifically. Findings from this study could inform the development of more culturally responsive, motivational substance use interventions for Latinx EAs and their families who struggle with substance use.
Issue Date:2020-07-15
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108480
Rights Information:© 2020 Kyle Michael Bennett
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08


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