Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Master of Science (MS)


The United States is one of the leading countries with high immigration rates, with Mexican immigrants making up about 25% of all immigrants living in the United States (Budiman et al., 2020). The current study examined the divergent trajectories of acculturative stress, years in the U.S., and parent internalizing symptoms among Mexican-origin immigrant parents. Participants in this study are from a larger study on family coping among Mexican-origin immigrant families. A total of 104 families participated at T1, 99 at T2 (6 months after T1), and 97 at T3 (12 months after T1). Finally, in 2017, a reduced sample of 67 families returned for T4. At the time that T4 was collected, the 2016 presidential election results declared Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. When examining the divergent trajectories of acculturative stress among the sample in the present study, distinct latent growth classes were revealed. When examining only three timepoints (across 1 year), the three latent growth classes found were low decreasing, low increasing, and high decreasing acculturative stress. When adding the fourth timepoint to the trajectories (across 4 years total), three latent growth classes were also found (low increasing, low stable, and moderate increasing acculturative stress). Overall, participants were more likely to follow increasing trajectories of acculturative stress after including the fourth timepoint. Years in the U.S. at T1 of the study was found to not significantly predict latent growth classes of acculturative stress across three timepoints. An unexpected finding was that documentation status significantly predicts one of the latent growth classes, low increasing acculturative stress. Therefore, Mexican-origin immigrant parents with undocumented status were more likely to have a low increasing rate of acculturative stress than those with documented status. When considering only three timepoints, parents in the high decreasing latent class (class 3) were found to have greater internalizing symptoms at T3. After including the fourth timepoint in the trajectories, parents in the moderate increasing latent class (class 3) reported greater internalizing symptoms than the low increasing (class 1) and low stable (class 2) latent classes. The present study contributes to our understanding of the dynamic process of acculturative stress and how sensitive it may be to contextual factors. The present study also addresses limitations in the literature pertaining to generalized stress experiences, the lack of longitudinal studies of acculturative stress, and consideration for within-group differences.

Creative Commons License

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

Available for download on Saturday, February 01, 2025