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Research

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Behnke, A. O., Plunkett, S. W., Sands, T., & Bámaca, M. Y. (2011). Latino adolescents’ perceptions of discrimination, neighborhood risk, and parenting on their own feelings of self-esteem and depression. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42, 1179-1197. doi:10.1177/0022022110383424

Abstract

Guided by Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological framework, this study examined the roles of Latino adolescents’ reports of discrimination, neighborhood risk, parent-child conflict over culture, and parental support in relation to their self-esteem and depression. Analysis of self-report data from 383 ninth grade, Latino students from one Los Angeles high school was used to validate a Multigroup Structural Equation Model of self-esteem and depressive symptoms for boys and girls. As expected, self-esteem was negatively and significantly related to depressive symptoms, yet the influence of other factors were less clear. Five paths marked the influence of mothers’ and fathers’ interactions on youths’ outcomes, demonstrating a strong path from fathers’ support to adolescent self-esteem and differing paths from cultural conflict with mother and father to youth outcomes. Neighborhood risks were significantly related to boys’ and girls’ self esteem and depressive symptoms, especially for boys. Societal discrimination was significantly related to youths’ reports of depressive symptoms yet not significantly related to self-esteem. Results are discussed in terms of applications for both practice and future research.

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Iland, E., Weiner, I., & Murawski, W.W. (2012). Obstacles Faced by Latina Mothers of Children with Autism. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 10, 25-36.

Abstract

The CDC’s most recent autism prevalence estimates document the continued trend of higher prevalence among non-Hispanic white children compared to Hispanic children. The disproportionate under- representation of Latino children in the health, education and service systems is measurable, disadvantaging the child and family. This quantitative study identifies support needs and obstacles experienced by 96 Latina mothers of children with autism, active in Spanish-language parent groups in California. Study measures included the Family Needs Survey and the Caring for My Child Survey. To determine the significance of the results on the Family Needs Survey, an item-by-item chi-square analysis compared results to those of to a similar population from a different study that used the same measure. A high proportion of mothers reported substantial levels of unmet needs in their role as primary caregiver using the Family Needs Survey: all 35 survey items were unmet for at least 50% of mothers; 28 items were common needs. The level and number of unmet needs of mothers in the present study in areas such as social support and care services were significantly greater than the comparison group. On the Caring for My Child Survey, mothers identified multiple barriers personally encountered in obtaining assistance for their children including psychosocial, economic, political, and healthcare factors. Findings are relevant to improve access for Latinos in the health, education and service systems, and to establish a baseline for comparison.

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Exploring Latino/a college students’ transition experiences: An ethnography of social preparedness and familial support