Patterns of acculturative stress: Continuity, discontinuity, and adjustment among Latino youth

Jessica Verdiales Kissane, Florida International University


This study evaluated inter- and intra-individual changes in acculturation, acculturative stress, and adaptation experiences, as well as their associations with adjustment outcomes among a group of Latino adolescents in South Florida. Specifically, the current study investigated the incidence, changes, and effects of stressors that arise from acculturation experiences (e.g., related to culture, discrimination, language difficulties) among Latino youth by employing a person-centered approach and a longitudinal research design. Four separate groups of analyses were conducted to investigate (a) within-group differences in levels of reported acculturative stress, (b) patterns of continuity and discontinuity in levels of acculturative stress across time, (c) adjustment outcomes associated with distinct patterns of acculturative stress within each measurement occasion, and (d) predictive relations between longitudinal acculturative stress trajectories in early adolescence and psychosocial adjustment outcomes in young adulthood. ^ Results from the multivariate analyses indicated great within group heterogeneity in acculturative stress among Latino youth during early adolescence, as well as significant continuity and discontinuity in the patterns of shifts among acculturative stress profiles between contiguous measurement occasions. Within each developmental period, membership in acculturative stress clusters was significantly and differentially associated with multiple adjustment outcomes, suggesting that maladaptive outcomes are more likely to occur among Latino adolescents experiencing high levels of psychological distress across multiple acculturative domains. In general, Latino youth acculturation is best understood as multi-dimensional, to be variable across time, and to be fluid and responsive to multiple factors and influences. Implications for preventive strategies are discussed with regard to acculturation and developmental psychology research literatures. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Kissane, Jessica Verdiales, "Patterns of acculturative stress: Continuity, discontinuity, and adjustment among Latino youth" (2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3249711.