Ambivalence as a potential mediator of associations between the acculturation gap and Mexican American adolescents’ well-being

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Janet L. Sayers (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Danielle Crosby

Abstract: The goal of this study is to explore the relationship between a parent-child acculturation gap and both depression and self-esteem in adolescent children of Mexican immigrant parents. Using linear regression models, I tested the impact of the acculturation gap on adolescent self-esteem, then on adolescent depression. Next, I used a mediation analysis to test the indirect impact of the acculturation gap on self-esteem and depression through intergenerational conflict. Further, I used a mediation analysis to test the effect of the acculturation gap on both self-esteem and depression through conflict and family cohesion simultaneously. Finally, I tested the same constructs in a moderated mediation analysis using the Griffen formula, which specifically measures relational ambivalence (the presence of both simultaneous positive and negative relationship characteristics). I then compared the results of all mediation analyses to determine which model accounted for the greatest variance in the two outcomes. Findings suggested that while the presence of intergenerational conflict significantly strengthened the impact of an intergenerational acculturation gap on depression, the addition of family cohesion-signaling ambivalence-was not more predictive of depression than conflict alone. On the other hand, results indicated that while conflict alone did not predict lower self-esteem in adolescents, the presence of ambivalence did have a significant negative impact on self-esteem.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Acculturation Gap, Acculturation Gap-Distress Model, Adolescents, Ambivalence
Mexican American teenagers
Children of immigrants
Parent and teenager
Acculturation $x Psychological aspects
Self-esteem in adolescence
Depression in adolescence

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