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  1. The current study investigates how and under what conditions family obligation benefits Mexican American adolescents’ adjustment. The study used two waves of data from 604 Mexican American adolescents (54.3% female, Mage.wave1 = 12.41 years, SD = 0.97) and their parents. Structural equation modeling revealed that both adolescents’ and parents’ sense of family obligation related to more supportive parenting (i.e., parental monitoring, warmth, and inductive reasoning), which linked to better adolescent adjustment (i.e., sense of life meaning, resilience, and grades). There were parent gender differences: Adolescents’ family obligation was more strongly related to their reports of maternal (vs. paternal) parenting. The links also varied across informants for parenting: (a) individuals’ sense of family obligation related only to their own perceptions of parenting and (b) there were more evident associations between adolescent-reported (vs. parent-reported) parenting and adolescent outcomes.
  2. Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: Language brokering (LB) is an informal translation experience where bilinguals serve as linguistic and cultural intermediaries for family members. LB may have long-term socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes, yet little is known about its effects on executive functions (EFs). This study examines how first language (L1) proficiency and negative emotions tied to language brokering experiences affect EF performance on a Simon task (ST). Design/methodology/approach: Fifty-three Mexican American Spanish–English bilinguals with LB experience performed a ST, and reported their feelings towards LB for their mother. Data and analysis: Mean reaction times (RTs) and accuracy rates for correct ST trials were analyzed using linear mixed effects modeling, with trial type, proficiency and negative emotions tied to LB experience as factors and their interactions as additional predictors. Findings/conclusions: The L1 proficiency and negative emotions tied to brokering experiences have divergent, but combined effects on EF. Contrary to our hypotheses, low L1 proficiency predicted better performance and the smallest Simon effect was found for brokers with low L1 proficiency and low negative emotional brokering experiences. However, high L1 proficiency predicted better performance (smallest RTs) regardless of negative emotions tied to brokering experiences. Originality: This study takes a different perspective on themore »examination of individual differences among bilinguals, in which we examine how negative emotions tied to brokering experiences coupled with L1 proficiency relates to EF performance. Significance/implications: Our results provide support for the need to understand how individual differences in bilingual language experiences, such as L1 proficiency and negative emotions tied to LB, interact with performance on the ST.« less
  3. Using a three-wave longitudinal data set of Mexican-origin adolescents (N = 602, Mage = 12.92, SD = 0.91 at Wave 1), this study examines parallel pathways from early exposure to ethnic discrimination and drug-using peers, separately, to underage drinking status by late adolescence. Negative affect was expected to mediate the link from ethnic discrimination to underage drinking status (the stress-induced pathway), whereas social alcohol expectancy was expected to mediate the link from drug-using peers to underage drinking status (the socialization pathway). Our findings lend support to the stress-induced pathway while controlling for the socialization pathway. For the stress-induced pathway, we found that early ethnic discrimination experiences were related to higher likelihood of having engaged in underage drinking by late adolescence through elevated negative affect sustained across adolescence. For the socialization pathway, we found no association between affiliation with drug-using peers in early adolescence and underage drinking status, either directly or indirectly. Present findings highlight the unique role of early ethnic discrimination experiences in underage drinking among Mexican-origin adolescents, over and above the effect of drug-using peers. Alcohol use interventions targeting ethnic minority adolescents should account for adolescents' ethnic discrimination experiences by helping adolescents develop adaptive coping strategies to handle negativemore »affect induced by discrimination (e.g., reappraisal) rather than using alcohol to self-medicate.« less
  4. We advance a tripartite framework of language use to encompass language skills, the practice of language skills, and the subjective experiences associated with language use among Mexican-origin adolescents who function as language brokers by translating and interpreting for their English-limited parents. Using data collected over 2 waves from a sample of 604 adolescents (Wave 1: Mage = 12.41, SD = 0.97), this study identified 4 types of bilingual language broker profiles that capture the tripartite framework of language use: efficacious, moderate, ambivalent, and nonchalant. All 4 profiles emerged across waves and brokering recipients (i.e., mothers, fathers), except for Wave 1 brokering for mother, in which case only 3 profiles (i.e., efficacious, moderate, and ambivalent) emerged. Three profiles emerged across time: stable efficacious, stable moderate, and other. The efficacious and stable efficacious profiles showed the most consistent relation to adolescents' academic competence. Improving bilingual language proficiency, together with fostering more frequently positive brokering experiences, may be an avenue to improving academic competence among Mexican-origin adolescents in the United States.