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ABSTRACT: Although seminal reviews have been published on acculturation and mental health in adults and adolescents, far less is known about how acculturation influences adolescent interpersonal and self-directed violence. This article aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive review of research linking acculturation and violence behavior for adolescents of three minority populations: Latino, Asian/
Pacific Islander (A/PI), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN). The preponderance of evidence from studies on Latino and A/PI youth indicate that higher levels of adolescent assimilation (i.e., measured by time in the United States, English language use, U.S. cultural involvement, or individualism scales) were a risk factor for youth violence. Ethnic group identity or culture-of-origin involvement
appear to be cultural assets against youth violence with supporting evidence from studies on A/PI youth; however, more studies are needed on Latino and AI/AN youth. Although some evidence shows low acculturation or cultural marginality to be a risk factor for higher levels of fear, victimization, and being bullied, low acculturation also serves as a protective factor against dating violence victimization
for Latino youth. An important emerging trend in both the Latino and, to a lesser extent, A/PI youth literature shows that the impact of acculturation processes on youth aggression and violence can be mediated by family dynamics. The literature on acculturation and self-directed violence is extremely limited and has conflicting
results across the examined groups, with high acculturation being a risk factor for Latinos, low acculturation being a risk factor of A/PI youth, and acculturationrelated variables being unrelated to suicidal behavior among AI/AN youth. Bicultural skills training as a youth violence and suicide prevention practice is discussed.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among risk factors, cultural assets, and Latino adolescent mental health outcomes. We extend past research by using a longitudinal design and evaluating direct and moderated acculturation effects across a range of internalizing, externalizing, and academic engagement outcomes. The sample consisted of 281 Latino/a youths and one of their parents in metropolitan, small town, and rural areas within North Carolina and Arizona. The length of time the adolescent was in the U.S. was positively related to humiliation, aggression, and school bonding. Adolescent U.S. cultural involvement and parent culture of origin involvement were not significantly related to adolescent mental health or school bonding. Parent U.S. involvement had an inverse association with adolescent social problems, aggression, and anxiety. Adolescent culture of origin involvement was positively related to adolescent self-esteem 1 year later. Inverse relationships were found for the link between adolescent culture of origin involvement and hopelessness, social problems, and aggression 1 year later. Implications for prevention programming and policy development are discussed.
ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the efficacy of the Entre Dos Mundos/Between Two Worlds violence prevention program for Latino adolescents. In an experimental trial to compare implementation formats, we randomly assigned 41 Latino families to Entre Dos Mundos action-oriented skills training groups and 45 to unstructured Entre Dos Mundos support groups using the same session themes. We found no significant differences between the intervention delivery methods; both groups showed improvements in the desired directions. However, there were statistically significant dosage effects from pretest to posttest. Controlling for pretest scores, family income, parent education, and time spent living in the U.S., parents who attended more group sessions reported significant decreases in their adolescent child’s aggression, oppositional defiant behavior, ADHD, and attention problems. Further, parents who attended more intervention sessions reported significant gains in family adaptability, bicultural support, and bicultural identity integration.
ABSTRACT: This investigation examined acculturation risk factors and cultural assets, internalizing behavioral problems, and self-esteem in 323 Latino adolescents living in North Carolina. Multiple regression analyses revealed two risk factors—perceived discrimination and parent-adolescent conflict—as highly significant predictors of adolescent internalizing problems and low self-esteem. Adolescents who were highly involved in Latino culture and who experienced high parent-adolescent conflict were found particularly at risk for internalizing problems. Biculturalism and familism were cultural assets found associated with fewer internalizing problems and higher self-esteem. For internalizing problems, familism’s protective effect was mediated by parent-adolescent conflict. Implications were discussed.
ABSTRACT: The specific aim of this investigation was to map cultural factors associated with aggressive behavior in Latino adolescents. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 481 foreign- and U.S.-born Latino adolescents living in North Carolina and Arizona. Structural Equation Modeling was used to validate a conceptual model linking adolescent and parent culture-of-origin and U.S. cultural involvement, acculturation conflicts, and perceived discrimination to family processes (familism and parent-adolescent conflict) and adolescent aggression. Parent-adolescent conflict was the strongest cultural risk factor followed by perceived discrimination. Familism and adolescent culture-of-origin involvement were key cultural assets associated with less aggressive behavior. Exploratory mediation effects suggested that familism and parent-adolescent conflict mediated the effects of perceived discrimination, acculturation conflicts, and parent culture-of-origin involvement on adolescent aggression. Implications for prevention programming were discussed.
ABSTRACT: The aim of this investigation was to map factors that predicted internalizing, externalizing, social, and total behavioral problems in immigrant Latino adolescents. Interviews were conducted with 100 foreign-born Latino adolescents. Multiple regression analyses revealed two risk factors, perceived discrimination and parent-adolescent conflict, which were significant predictors of adolescent internalizing, externalizing, and total problems. Interaction terms indicated that adolescents who were highly involved in Latino culture and who experienced high parent-adolescent conflict were at risk for internalizing problems. Familism was a protective factor associated with lower levels of internalizing and total problems. However, the effect of familism was mediated by parent-adolescent conflict.