Effects of Cultural Stress on Identity Development and Depression among Hispanic College Students

Alan Meca, Taylor Webb, Isis Cowan, Alicia Moulder, Seth J. Schwartz, Ágnes Szabó, Colleen Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hispanic emerging adults are routinely faced with a variety of cultural stressors that adversely impact mental health and compromise identity development. Given that identity emerges through day-to-day interactions, there is a need to explore the impact of cultural stress on identity development and depressive symptoms at the micro-level (across days). To address these gaps, the current study utilized a 12-day diary study conducted among 792 Hispanic college students (75.9% female, M age = 20.14 years, SD = 1.85, Range = 18–24 years) to determine the impact of cultural stress on daily identity coherence, identity confusion, depressive symptoms, and the association between identity coherence and confusion and depressive symptoms in this population. Results indicated that Day 1 cultural stress positively predicted average daily depressive symptoms and identity confusion and negatively predicted identity coherence. Finally, cultural stress predicted a stronger daily association between identity confusion and depressive symptoms. As a whole, our findings emphasize the detrimental impact that cultural stressors have on both identity development and depressive symptoms at the daily level. These results are discussed in relation to the specific types of cultural stressors that Hispanic emerging adults face, and the need for appropriate intervention and prevention efforts for this population is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIdentity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cultural stress
  • depression
  • emerging adulthood
  • Hispanics
  • identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Cultural Stress on Identity Development and Depression among Hispanic College Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this