Latina/o adolescent adjustment: understanding the role of adolescent self-disclosure to mothers

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

Abstract: Latina/o adolescents experience an increased risk for the development of both internalizing and externalizing problems compared to non-Latina/o white youth (Anderson & Mayes, 2010; Coatsworth, Pantin, & Szapocznik, 2002). Research demonstrates that parent-adolescent communication is one important familial process that influences the development and attenuation of these symptoms (Davidson & Cardemil, 2009). However, little work has investigated how adolescent self-disclosure to mothers may play a role in Latina/o youth adjustment. The current dissertation explored correlates of behavioral and emotional self-disclosure in Latina/o adolescents using an emic approach. This study had two specific aims: (1) To investigate the relation between two types of adolescent self-disclosure—behavioral and emotional—and two types of adolescent adjustment—internalizing and externalizing problems. (2) To identify predictors of both behavioral and emotional self-disclosure, incorporating both universal and cultural factors. These aims were tested in a sample of 217 second generation Latina/o adolescents ages 13-17 (mean age = 15.22; 78.8% female) across the U.S. Adolescents completed an online survey including questionnaires about self-disclosure, adjustment, relationship quality with their mother, maternal reactions to disclosure, cultural values, and language gaps with mothers. Results indicated that behavioral and emotional self-disclosure differentially predict youth adjustment, and relationship quality is an important predictor of Latina/o youth frequency of disclosure. Post-hoc analyses suggested that cultural factors do indeed impact Latina/o youth disclosure and adjustment, and that relationship quality is indirectly related to youth adjustment through self-disclosure.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Acculturation, Adolescent self-disclosure, Externalizing problems, Internalizing problems, Latina/o adolescents
Hispanic American teenagers $a Psychology
Adjustment (Psychology) in adolescence
Self-disclosure in adolescence
Emotions in adolescence
Mother and child

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