How do New Immigrant Latino Parents Interpret Problem Behavior in Adolescents?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gabriela L. Stein, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Parents are gatekeepers for their children’s mental-health treatment, yet many are unclear about what behaviors warrant intervention. Seeking treatment is further complicated for immigrant parents whose cultural backgrounds may influence their understanding of mental health. This analysis uses qualitative data from [MASKED], which is a representative study of newly immigrated youth (12–18 years) and their parents, to examine parental perceptions of mental health and to determine patterns of help seeking and service use. Sixteen parents participated in semistructured qualitative interviews that used vignettes to elicit parental beliefs about adolescent behavior and mental health. Findings suggest parents 1) identify behavior that meets diagnostic criteria as problematic; 2) ascribe those behaviors to a range of etiologies; and 3) desire to intervene. Two areas of service delivery emerged as problematic: many parents expect services delivered in ways that conflict with current practice standards, and new immigrant families often encounter cultural and practical barriers to accessing care.

Additional Information

Qualitative Social Work, 13(2), 270-287
Language: English
Date: 2014
Immigration, Mental health, Parents, Adolescents, Latinos

Email this document to