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- Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology
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- National Science Foundation
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The Influence of Ethnic-Racial Identity Developmental Processes on Global Bicultural Competence DevelopmentThis study investigated ethnic-racial identity developmental processes (i.e., exploration and resolution) as pathways for adolescents to develop global bicultural competence, or the ability to meet heritage and host cultural demands. The sample included 749 U.S. Mexican-origin youth (30% Mexico-born; 51% male) followed from early-to-late adolescence (Mage = 12.79 to 17.38 years). Longitudinal structural equation analyses revealed that youth’s sequential engagement in ethnic-racial identity exploration and resolution (from early-to-middle adolescence) promoted global bicultural competence in late adolescence. Findings highlight the benefits of achieving clarity about one’s ethnic-racial identity via self-exploration efforts for adolescents’ ability to respond effectively to bicultural demands. This study advances mechanisms via which ethnic-racial identity development may support youth adaptation to multiple cultural systems.
Profiles of Language Brokering Experiences and Contextual Stressors: Implications for Adolescent Outcomes in Mexican Immigrant FamiliesAdolescents from Mexican immigrant families are often embedded in a challenging social environment and experience multiple contextual stressors, including economic stress, discrimination, and foreigner stress. We consider how the effects of these contextual stressors may be amplified or diminished for adolescents who function as language brokers, interpreting and mediating for their English-limited parents. Using two waves of survey data collected from a sample (N = 604 at Wave 1; N = 483 at Wave 2) of Mexican American adolescents with ages ranging from 11 to 15 (Mage = 12.41, 54% female), four distinct brokering – stress profiles were identified. Latent profile analyses revealed that with moderate levels of contextual stress, adolescents with more positive language brokering experiences (protective group) demonstrated more favorable outcomes than those with neutral language brokering experiences (moderate group) and those who did not involve themselves as frequently in language brokering activities (less-involved group). In contrast, high levels of contextual stress, coupled with more negative language brokering experiences (risk group), produced the least favorable outcomes among adolescents.
Prospective Effects of Discrimination, Depressive Symptoms, and Cognitive Control Among Mexican-Origin Women
Cognitive control predicts functional independence and cognitive health outcomes, but is yet to be known the extent to which social stress, like discrimination, may diminish cognitive control capacities in Mexican-origin women. We evaluated the prospective associations between everyday and ethnic discrimination on cognitive control and examined the mediating effects of depressive symptoms on these links. We further examined the extent to which associations varied by age and financial strain.
We used data from 596 Mexican-origin women (average age = 38.89, standard deviation = 5.74) who participated in a 3-wave longitudinal study spanning 8 years (from 2012 to 2020). Participants completed measures of everyday and ethnic discrimination at Wave 1, depressive symptoms in Waves 1 and 2, and completed computer-based tasks of cognitive control at Wave 3. Self-reported assessments of financial strain were completed at Wave 2. Moderated mediation structural equation models were implemented to test hypotheses.
Depressive symptoms significantly mediated the prospective association between everyday/ethnic discrimination to cognitive control. Higher levels of everyday and ethnic discrimination at baseline were associated with more depressive symptoms at Wave 2, which were then related to poorer cognitive control (i.e., longer reaction time in congruent and/or incongruent trials) at Wave 3. There wasmore »
Results revealed the long-term consequences of experiences with discrimination on cognitive control that operate through increased depressive symptoms and that may have some subtle differential effects across levels of financial strain.
Early-life disadvantage (ELD) relates to lower late-life cognition. However, personality factors, including having an internal locus of control (LOC) or a conscientious personality, relate to resilience and effective stress coping. We explore whether personality factors convey resilience against the negative effects of ELD on cognition, by gender, in Mexico.
Using the 2015 Mexican Health and Aging Study, we estimated expected cognition using multiple ELD markers to identify a subsample in the lowest quartile of expected cognition given ELD (n = 2,086). In this subsample, we estimated cross-sectional associations between personality and having above-median observed cognitive ability (n = 522) using logistic regression.
Among those in the lowest quartile of expected cognition, a more internal LOC (β = 0.32 [men] and β = 0.44 [women]) and conscientious personality (β = 0.39 [men] and β = 0.17 [women]) were significantly associated with having above-median cognitive ability in models adjusted for demographic confounders. Larger benefits of conscientiousness were observed for men than women. Associations between personality and having above-median cognitive ability remained statistically significant after further adjustment for health, stress, and cognitive stimulation variables, regardless of gender.
Personality factors may convey resilience among individuals who experienced ELD, potentially breaking the link between ELD and worse late-life cognition. Structural factors and gender roles may affectmore »
The Role of Family Ethnic Socialization and Generational Status in White Adolescents’ Ethnic-Racial Identity Development
Family ethnic socialization (FES) is a critical component of youth ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development. However, little research has focused on FES experiences amongst White families. The current study applied a convergent mixed methods design to investigate how immigration generational status (i.e., number of U.S.-born parents and grandparents) was associated with FES within White American families and the extent to which that informed adolescents’ ERI development. Utilizing survey data for White adolescents’ ( N = 532) self-reported FES experiences and ERI exploration and resolution, quantitative path analyses testing for mediation indicated that, as adolescents reported more family members born in the U.S., their FES experiences were lower and, in turn, their ERI exploration and resolution were also lower. FES fully mediated the relation between generational status and their ERI exploration and resolution. A theoretical thematic analysis of focus group data from a subsample of participants offered insights into how White adolescents described their FES experiences, illustrating the integral role of parents and grandparents for learning about their ethnic heritage, school’s role in facilitating FES, and various methods of maintaining familial collective cultural memory. The current study offers preliminary insights into FES among White families and identifies new questions for exploration future research.