Psychological Distress Among Latino Adolescents of Low Socio Economic Status

Adolescence is the period of developmental transition between childhood and adulthood, involving multiple intellectual, personality, and social developmental changes. There are different factors in an adolescent’s life that can have an impact on their mental health. This purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between Latino adolescents’ psychological well-being and gender, parent’s marital status, parents’ educational attainment; years lived in the U.S., country born in, general health condition, poverty level and community safety. This study uses data from adolescents, ages 12-17, sampled for the 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey. Of the sample Univariate analysis was completed on all independent and dependent variables. A sample population of Latino Hispanics was extracted to examine the relationship between the psychological well-being and independent variables. A bivariate analysis was used. In order to examine which independent variables are predictors of psychological distress, a multivariate was used. This study found that there is a significant relationship between psychological distress and gender, general health and community safety. Adolescent who do not seek regular medical attention and live in low socio- economic communities are more likely to have high level of psychological distress. Therefore, it is imperative that social workers, dealing with adolescent take into account the finding above. A social worker should be able to provide adolescents with resources to help improve their health. Social workers should be able to provide adolescent with resources and alternative options to ensure medical attention is received when needed. Social worker should be trained in acculturation and the impact that it has on adolescents. Poverty is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly.