Cultural stressors, identity development, and substance use attitudes among Hispanic immigrant adolescents

Timothy J. Grigsby, Myriam Forster, Alan Meca, Byron L. Zamboanga, Seth J. Schwartz, Jennifer B. Unger

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Abstract

The goal of this investigation was to determine whether various cultural stressors (bicultural stress, perceived discrimination, and perceived negative context of reception [PNCR]) predict positive and negative substance use attitudes, directly and indirectly through personal identity, in a sample of immigrant Hispanic adolescents. Data on cultural stressors, substance use attitudes, and covariates were collected from 302 Hispanic immigrant adolescents (152 from Miami [61% Cuban] and 150 from Los Angeles [70% Mexican]) at 3 time points. PNCR was associated with identity confusion (β =.175, p =.033). Identity confusion significantly predicted higher positive attitudes toward alcohol and other drug (AOD; β =.216, p <.001) and cigarette use (β =.191, p =.015) and mediated the relationship between PNCR with unfavorable AOD attitudes (β = −.019, 95% confidence interval [CI] [− 0.052, − 0.001]) and favorable AOD attitudes (β = 0.038, 95% CI [0.003, 0.086]). Perceptions of a negative context of reception may hinder successful personal identity formation and impact health outcomes for immigrant youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-132
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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