Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Low-income Latino adolescents are at an increased risk for developing psychopathology, as the chronic stressors faced by those who grow up in poverty have an adverse cumulative effect, and the relationship between exposure to poverty and negative mental health outcomes is intensified for ethnic minority youth. One of the most impactful ways in which poverty causes deteriorations in adolescent mental health is through heightened levels of parent-child conflict. Another harmful result of the multiple stressors faced by poor youth is the dysregulation of the stress reactivity system. For Latino adolescents, problems with mood are a particular concern, as Latino adolescents have higher rates of mood problems than any other ethnic group. Fortunately, these youth may be able to benefit from the buffering effect of the cultural value of familism. Higher levels of familism may buffer against the harmful effects of parent-child conflict and inflated stress reactivity on mood. The present study utilizes a daily diary methodology to examine these processes in a nuanced way for low-income Latino middle school students. This research examines whether greater dysregulation of the stress reactivity system exacerbates the impact of high parent-child conflict on mood problems, while greater levels of familism buffer against mood problems, using hierarchical linear models that incorporate all daily ratings for each adolescent. Finally, the effect of gender will be examined in each of these processes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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