Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor's Name

Wendy K. Silverman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Maureen Kenny

Third Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jeremy Pettit

Keywords

anxiety, children, youth, anxiety sensitivity, acculturation, youth age, youth sex, cuban american, SMAS, maternal acculturation

Date of Defense

11-8-2013

Abstract

Despite progress that has been made in the areas of maternal acculturation and internalizing symptoms in Hispanic youth, much remains to be learned about the relation between maternal acculturation and youth anxiety. The inclusion of cognitive vulnerabilities such as anxiety sensitivity (AS) further adds to the understanding the development of anxiety in Hispanic youth. Examining the role that youth age and youth sex play in the relation between AS and youth anxiety symptoms also can further understanding of the development of youth anxiety. Thus, the specific aims of this dissertation were to examine whether: (1) a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) would yield a two factor structure of the Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Measure (SMAS; Stephenson, 2000); (2) maternal acculturation as measured by the SMAS is related to youth anxiety symptoms; (3) mother country of origin (i.e, Cuban or another Latin country) moderates the relation between youth AS and youth anxiety symptoms; (4) youth age moderates the relation between youth AS and youth anxiety symptoms; (5) youth sex moderates the relation between youth AS and youth anxiety symptoms.

In addition, research has shown Hispanic youth report more anxiety symptoms than non-Hispanic youth. The Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale’s (RCMAS; Reynolds & Richmond, 1978) Lie Scale was included to examine whether it relates to Hispanic youths’ reporting of anxiety symptoms in the current sample.

There were no significant differences in youth anxiety associated with the mother country of origin. Specifically, Cuban mothers and mothers from other Hispanic countries of origin did not significantly differ in their ratings of their child’s anxiety symptoms. Mother country of origin did not moderate the relation between AS and youth anxiety symptoms. Also, no significant findings were found with respect to effects of age on the relation between anxiety sensitivity and anxiety. The study’s main contributions and potential implications on theoretical, empirical, and clinical levels are further discussed.

Identifier

FI13121601

Included in

Psychology Commons

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