Thesis

Effects of acculturation and acculturative stress on second-generation Latino/a adolescents' and emerging adults' well-being

The purposes of this study were to examine (1) the relationship between mainstream and heritage acculturative stress and psychological well-being in secondgeneration Latino/a adolescents and emerging adults, (2) whether acculturation will moderate this relationship, and (3) to explore developmental differences among adolescents and emerging adults. Self-report data were collected from 138 secondgeneration Latino/a adolescents (mean age 14.02 years) and 244 second-generation Latino/a emerging adults (mean age 18.57 years). Participants completed the Vancouver Index of Acculturation (Ryder, Alde, & Paulhus, 2000), the Multidimensional Acculturative Stress Index (Rodriguez, Myers, Mira, Flores, & Garcia-Hernandez, 2002), and the Profile of Mood States-Adolescent Version (Terry, Lane, Lane, & Keohane, 1999). Multiple regressions were run to test the effects of acculturative stress on psychological well-being and to test if acculturation moderated this association, separately by developmental period. The results indicate that among emerging adults, heritage acculturative stress did significantly predict psychological well-being. However, heritage acculturative stress did not significantly predict adolescents' psychological wellbeing and acculturation did not moderate these associations. Additionally, mainstream acculturative stress did not significantly predict either adolescents' or emerging adults' psychological well-being, and acculturation did not moderate these associations. Findings of the current study can help mental health professionals better understand and treat second-generation immigrant background youth.

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