Presenter Information

Lauren TanFollow

Major

Psychology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Acculturation is a multidimensional construct in which immigrants actively decide to reduce or maintain their cultural identity, both of their home culture and their new culture (Padilla & Perez, 2003). Though mixed in research, acculturation is often identified as a risk factor (Padilla & Perez, 2003). For example, higher acculturation in Mexican-origin mothers is associated with increased depressive symptoms (Calzada & Sales, 2019). However, studies have shown that parental acculturation and child ethnic identity formation are also associated (Costigan & Dokis, 2006). Children’s ethnic identity can promote positive development and self-esteem (Smith & Silva, 2011). Little research has examined acculturation differences among mothers and fathers. This study aims to describe acculturation (US orientation; Mexican orientation) across Mexican-origin immigrant maternal and paternal caregivers, and the association with child ethnic identity during middle childhood.

Participants included 96 maternal figures (100% mothers) with 90% born in Mexico and 65 paternal figures (79% fathers) with 91% born in Mexico, from families with at least one parent of Mexican-origin and a child between 6-10 years old (M = 8.39). Data was collected during home visits by bilingual research assistants. Acculturation levels in caregivers was assessed using the ARMSA-II (Cuellár, Arnold, Maldonado, 1995). Children self-reported on ethnic identity (Brown & Chu, 2012).

Linear regression analyses examined the relation between maternal and paternal levels of acculturation (US or Mexican Orientation) and child ethnic identity. Results indicated that maternal caregivers’ level of Mexican and U.S. orientation were not significantly associated with child ethnic identity. Further, paternal caregivers’ level of US orientation was also not associated with child ethnic identity. However, paternal caregivers’ level of Mexican orientation was significantly and positively associated with child ethnic identity (ß = .10, p = 0.03). Child gender did not moderate the association between paternal or maternal levels of acculturation and child ethnic identity. Further, T- tests revealed child ethnic identity did not differ based on child gender (t (94) = 0.713, p = .478).

This study contributes to the current literature by examining differences among caregiver’s acculturation and the impact on child ethnic identity during middle childhood. Maintaining strong cultural ties among paternal caregivers may be important for children’s positive ethnic identity development.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Yvita Bustos, B.A., Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology Program; Dr. Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Psychology

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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Gender, acculturation, and ethnic identity in Mexican families: A closer look at immigration and identity

Acculturation is a multidimensional construct in which immigrants actively decide to reduce or maintain their cultural identity, both of their home culture and their new culture (Padilla & Perez, 2003). Though mixed in research, acculturation is often identified as a risk factor (Padilla & Perez, 2003). For example, higher acculturation in Mexican-origin mothers is associated with increased depressive symptoms (Calzada & Sales, 2019). However, studies have shown that parental acculturation and child ethnic identity formation are also associated (Costigan & Dokis, 2006). Children’s ethnic identity can promote positive development and self-esteem (Smith & Silva, 2011). Little research has examined acculturation differences among mothers and fathers. This study aims to describe acculturation (US orientation; Mexican orientation) across Mexican-origin immigrant maternal and paternal caregivers, and the association with child ethnic identity during middle childhood.

Participants included 96 maternal figures (100% mothers) with 90% born in Mexico and 65 paternal figures (79% fathers) with 91% born in Mexico, from families with at least one parent of Mexican-origin and a child between 6-10 years old (M = 8.39). Data was collected during home visits by bilingual research assistants. Acculturation levels in caregivers was assessed using the ARMSA-II (Cuellár, Arnold, Maldonado, 1995). Children self-reported on ethnic identity (Brown & Chu, 2012).

Linear regression analyses examined the relation between maternal and paternal levels of acculturation (US or Mexican Orientation) and child ethnic identity. Results indicated that maternal caregivers’ level of Mexican and U.S. orientation were not significantly associated with child ethnic identity. Further, paternal caregivers’ level of US orientation was also not associated with child ethnic identity. However, paternal caregivers’ level of Mexican orientation was significantly and positively associated with child ethnic identity (ß = .10, p = 0.03). Child gender did not moderate the association between paternal or maternal levels of acculturation and child ethnic identity. Further, T- tests revealed child ethnic identity did not differ based on child gender (t (94) = 0.713, p = .478).

This study contributes to the current literature by examining differences among caregiver’s acculturation and the impact on child ethnic identity during middle childhood. Maintaining strong cultural ties among paternal caregivers may be important for children’s positive ethnic identity development.