Bicultural stress and adolescent risk behaviors in a community sample of Latinos and non-Latino European Americans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. The study examined the relation between adolescent risk behaviors and bicultural stress due to discrimination, immigration, and acculturation factors. We hypothesized bicultural stress would be related to increased risk behavior and depressive symptoms independent of socioeconomic status, ethnic self-identification, and acculturation. Design. Middle school student participants (n=519; median age 14) completed a self-report questionnaire on their risk behaviors, psychosocial antecedents, and socio-demographic factors. Latino (304) and non-Latino European American (215) students were surveyed through a large, urban, West Coast US school district. Results. More bicultural stress was significantly related to reports of all risk behaviors (i.e. smoking, drinking, drug use, and violence) and depressive symptoms. Further, bicultural stress was a robust explanatory variable across sub-groups, and appears largely independent from depressive symptoms. Conclusion. The hypotheses were supported. Bicultural stress appears to be an important underlying factor for health disparities among US adolescents. Future research may consider promoting well-being in majority, as well as minority adolescents, through targeting sources of bicultural stressors or examining ways to moderate their effects on adolescent risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-463
Number of pages21
JournalEthnicity and Health
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Fingerprint

Adolescent Behavior
Risk-Taking
Hispanic Americans
risk behavior
adolescent
Acculturation
community
Depression
acculturation
Students
Emigration and Immigration
demographic factors
Violence
Social Class
Self Report
Drinking
drug use
smoking
social status
immigration

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Bicultural
  • Health Disparities
  • Risk Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

Bicultural stress and adolescent risk behaviors in a community sample of Latinos and non-Latino European Americans. / Romero, Andrea J; Martinez, Daniel; Carvajal, Scott C.

In: Ethnicity and Health, Vol. 12, No. 5, 11.2007, p. 443-463.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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