Developmental cascades : linking depressive symptoms and academic functioning in Mexican-American youth

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

Abstract: Latinx adolescents are at greatest risk for negative life outcomes. Particularly, inequities in both academic and mental health outcomes have been widely documented for Latinxs living in the United States (Alegria et al., 2015; Musu-Gillette et al., 2017). The current study sought to increase understanding of developmental cascades in a sample of 674 Mexican-American youth recruited from two California school districts. This study examined longitudinal effects linking academic functioning and depressive symptoms from 5th – 12th grade, and whether factors, such as racial and ethnic discrimination, nativity, and sex impact these links. This study tested several models to elucidate how academic functioning and depressive symptoms are associated across time, and considered how other factors may influence developmental cascade pathways across key developmental transition points for these youth. Results indicated that academic functioning and depressive symptoms were contemporaneously associated across most waves. However, contrary to hypotheses, no cross-lagged effects were found, and the shared risk variables were not consistently associated with either domain across time. Results highlight the importance of implementing interventions that focus on both academic and depressive components concurrently. They also point to the importance of considering moderators and mediators, such as cultural strengths and structural risks, in understanding the longitudinal links between academic functioning and depressive symptoms in Mexican American youth, and how these influence one another across time.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Academic functioning, Adolescent mental health, Depressive symptoms, Developmental cascades, Mexican-American youth
Mexican American teenagers $x Mental health $z California
Mexican American students $x Mental health $z California
Academic achievement $x Psychological aspects
Developmental psychology

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