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Title:Acculturation-related stressors and Latino immigrant adolescent depressive symptoms: a multiple mediation analysis of stressors and resources by gender and immigrant generational status
Author(s):Lee, Meng-Jung
Director of Research:Liechty, Janet M
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Liechty, Janet M
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wu, Chi-Fang; Lleras, Christy; Hernandez, Rosalba
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):Acculturative stress
youth mental health development
depressive symptoms
Latino youth
immigrant generations
Structural equation modeling (SEM)
mediation analyses
Abstract:The purpose of this research was to explore the mechanisms between acculturation-related stressors and depressive symptoms among first and second generation immigrant Latino adolescents in the United States, and to test a novel theoretical framework based on an integration of acculturative stress and stress process theories among Latino youth. The main research hypotheses and exploratory research question were: (1) Longitudinal association between acculturation-related stressors at wave 1 (W1), including intergenerational discrepancy and prejudiced school climate, and depressive symptoms at wave 2 (W2) will be mediated by decreases in resources such as self-esteem, future aspiration, maternal closeness, and school connectedness. (2) These mediating effects will be stronger among second generation than first generation Latino immigrant youth. (3) These mediating effects will be stronger among Latina than Latino youth. (4) Do the associations among acculturation-related stressors, depressive symptoms and resources differ by Latino immigrant subgroups based on country of origin? Using W1 and W2 data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), data were drawn from both the adolescent In-Home Survey at W1 and W2, and the Parent Survey at W1. The analytical sample consisted of 1,379 Latino first and second generation immigrant adolescents in the United States. I conducted structural equation modeling (SEM) with full information maximum likelihood estimation using Stata 13.0 to simultaneously estimate multiple mediation effects. Then group comparison analyses were applied to test the group differences. The results showed significant mediating effects between acculturation-related stressors and depressive symptoms. In particular, the association between prejudiced school climate and depressive symptoms was significantly mediated by decreased self-esteem (b=.03, 95% CI=0.01-0.09) and decreased maternal closeness (b=.03, 95% CI =0.01-0.06). In addition, the association between intergenerational discrepancy and depressive symptoms was significantly mediated by decreased self-esteem (b=.10, 95%CI=0.08-0.15) and decreased maternal closeness (b=.03, 95% CI=0.01-0.07). This study contributes to the literature on underlying mechanisms between acculturation-related stressors and depressive symptoms in Latino youth, and supports a dynamic rather than static conceptualization of resources. Research findings support the novel theoretical framework that can be applied to future adolescent immigrant research. In addition, findings on the interplay between school stressors and maternal relationship quality point to the need to increase family engagement with schools especially among immigrant youth.
Issue Date:2016-04-19
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/90793
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Meng-Jung Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05


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