Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Miguel Ángel Cano
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Zoran Bursac
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Mariana Sanchez
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Dr. Chanadra Young Whiting
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
cultural stress, cultural stressors, family functioning, racism, coping, psychological stress, perceived health, Latinos, mental health, young adults
Date of Defense
Emerging adulthood (18-25 years) is a distinct period of life, characterized by a high level of instability in the matters of romantic life, work, and challenging developmental undertakings. Various events related to these developmental tasks may leave lifelong impacts on emerging adult’s identities and health across adulthood. Further, due to the unstable nature of this period, individuals in this age group are vulnerable to various mental health problems. Hispanic emerging adults may be particularly at risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes, as on top of normative developmental stressors (e.g., increased autonomy, finding employment), they are often exposed to various chronic sociocultural stressors. However, few studies have examined this period, let alone involving Hispanic emerging adults, in part due to the recent establishment of this period as a distinct stage of life. Considering the future health implications of this period, utilizing data from the Project on Health among Emerging Adult Latinos (Project HEAL), this research investigated the associations between cultural stressors (acculturation gap conflicts, ethnic discrimination) and outcomes such as depressive symptoms, psychological stress, and perceived health status among 200 Hispanic emerging adults. We also examined potential resources (family cohesion, distress tolerance, and optimism) that can help protect Hispanic emerging adults from the detrimental effects of acculturation gap conflicts and ethnic discrimination.
Our findings from hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that those with higher acculturation gap conflicts were more likely to experience depressive symptoms and perceive their health as poor. Similarly, Hispanic emerging adults who were experiencing higher ethnic discrimination were more likely to develop psychological stress. Results from moderation analyses showed that family cohesion moderated the association between acculturation gap conflicts and depressive symptoms. Additionally, both distress tolerance and optimism moderated the association between ethnic discrimination and psychological stress.
It is critical to identify culturally relevant and modifiable determinants that can have beneficial or adverse associations with the mental health of Hispanic emerging adults so that steps can be taken to design or modify prevention and intervention programs to safeguard the health of one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population. The findings of this study add to the limited literature by making a meaningful contribution to a subject area that needs more exploration.
Rahman, Abir, "Associations of Sociocultural Stressors with Psychological Distress and Self-rated Health among Hispanic Emerging Adults" (2021). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4782.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine Commons, Community Psychology Commons, Developmental Psychology Commons, Epidemiology Commons, Health Psychology Commons, Public Health Education and Promotion Commons
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