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01-02-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2014

Parent–Child Cultural Value Gaps and Depressive Symptoms Among Mexican American Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2014
Auteurs:
Gabriela Livas Stein, Antonio J. Polo

Abstract

Cultural value gaps between Mexican American parents and their children are hypothesized to place youth at risk for poor mental health outcomes. While most studies examine these gaps on broad measures of acculturation, the present study examined value gaps in affiliative obedience, a cultural value that has at its core the belief that respect and deference must be shown to parents and adults. The present study hypothesized that adolescents would exhibit greater depressive symptoms when youth demonstrated lower levels of affiliative obedience than their mothers. Moreover, we examined whether gender, nativity status, and age predicted cultural value gaps and moderated the relationship between gaps and depressive symptoms. These questions were evaluated in a school-based sample of 159 Mexican American families whose children were either US born (n = 82) or foreign-born (n = 77). Twenty-five percent of the sample demonstrated a cultural value gap where youth endorsed lower levels of affiliative obedience than their parents, and this group reported the greatest depressive symptoms. Age moderated this relationship, and the greatest association between cultural value gaps and depression was found among the older group of early adolescents.

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