Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety

Symposium

Cultural Mechanisms of Risk for Internalizing Disorders

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire 410, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Anxiety | Hispanic Americans | Depression
Presentation Type: Symposium

Latinos and rural communities are characterized by a high degree of collectivism (Greenfield, 2016), a cultural orientation shown to be protective against deleterious experiences that contribute to the development of internalizing symptoms. This effect, however, may be context specific. Thus, the relationship of cultural orientation with internalizing symptoms, and potential mediators of this association, was examined within a unique sample: Latino adolescents residing in a rural community where Latinos are the majority racial/ethnic group.


 Latino adolescents ages 13-17 (n=259) completed self-report measures of cultural orientation (ICS; Triandis & Gelfand, 1998), acculturative stress (SAFE-C; Mena et al, 1987), and psychopathology (YSR; Achenbach, 1991). Cultural orientation was defined as horizontal individualism (HI), vertical individualism (VI), horizontal collectivism (HC), or vertical collectivism (VC). Horizontal views assume that the self is similar to others while vertical views are hierarchical and assume people are distinct.


 Four parallel hierarchical linear regressions were run to determine the independent effect of each cultural orientation subscale on internalizing outcomes, over and above age, sex, and perceived financial stress. HI and VI showed significant positive associations with internalizing symptoms (b=.22, p=.03; b=.16, p=.02). HC and VC showed significant negative associations (b=-.29, p=.001; b=-.27, p=.004). All subscales were then entered into the same block. Only VI and HC remained significant. Next, acculturative stress was tested as a mechanism by which VI and HC influence internalizing symptoms using an OLS framework for estimating direct and indirect effects with bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals. Only the VI model accounted for a significant amount of variance (p=.01), with a significant indirect effect (.059, CI=.003-.13).


 Findings suggest that acculturative stress is relevant to adolescents who endorse hierarchical individualism, highlighting a potential mechanism by which risk for internalizing symptoms is increased among Latino youth with cultural views discrepant from the prevailing cultural views of their community.

Amy Rapp

Doctoral Student
UCLA

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