Examining the Directionality Between Identity Development and Depressive Symptoms Among Recently Immigrated Hispanic Adolescents

Alan Meca, Julia C. Rodil, James F. Paulson, Michelle Kelley, Seth J Schwartz, Jennifer B. Unger, Elma I. Lorenzo-Blanco, Sabrina E. Des Rosiers, Melinda Gonzales-Backen, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Byron L. Zamboanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although personal identity development has been conceptualized as a source of psychological stability and protective against depressive symptoms among Hispanic immigrants, there remains ambiguity regarding the directional relationship between identity development and depression. To address this limitation, the current study sought to establish directionality between identity development and depressive symptoms. The sample consisted of 302 recent (<5 years) immigrant Hispanic adolescents (53.3% boys; Mage = 14.51 years at baseline; SD = 0.88 years) from Miami and Los Angeles who participated in a longitudinal study. The findings suggested a bidirectional relationship between identity and depressive symptoms such that identity coherence negatively predicted depressive symptoms, yet depressive symptoms also negatively predicted coherence and positively predicted subsequent identity confusion. Findings not only provide further evidence for the protective role of identity development during times of acute cultural transitions, but also emphasize the need for research to examine how depressive symptoms, and psychopathology more broadly, may interfere with establishing a sense of self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hispanic immigrants
  • Personal identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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