A Family Stress Model Investigation of Bicultural Competence Among U.S. Mexican-Origin Youth

M. Dalal Safa, Rebecca M.B. White, George Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: We investigated the influence of parental exposure to family stressors on parents' ethnic socialization practices and adolescents' cultural competencies among U.S. Mexican-origin families. Method: The sample included 749 U.S. Mexican-origin families followed for 5 years (two-parent families = 579; single-mother families = 170). At the first wave, mean age was 35.9 years for mothers, 38.1 years for fathers, and 10.42 years for youths (49% female). Most youths were U.S.-born (70.3%). Most parents were Mexico-born (74.3% to 79.9%). On average, Mexico-born parents had resided in the U.S. for 12.57 to 14.58 years. Both parents reported about 10 years of education. Annual family incomes ranged from less than $5,000 to more than $95,000. We conducted longitudinal structural equation analyses to test a culturally expanded Family Stress Model. Results: Mothers' exposures to enculturative language stressors disrupted maternal ethnic socialization, and in turn, undermined adolescents' bicultural competence. Conclusions: This work advances understanding of the family processes that set into motion youth's bicultural competence development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Adaptation
  • Biculturalism
  • Family
  • Socialization
  • Stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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