COVID-19 Economic and Academic Stress on Mexican American Adolescents’ Psychological Distress: Parents as Essential Workers

Fiorella L. Carlos Chavez, Delida Sanchez, Cristalis Capielo Rosario, Seung Yong Han, Alison Cerezo, German A. Cadenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: In a sample of Mexican American adolescents (N = 398; 51% females; aged 13—17), we examined the associations between psychological distress, COVID-19 household economic stress, COVID-19 academic stress, and whether these associations varied by adolescents’ gender and by parents/caregivers’ essential worker status. Method: First, linear regression models assessed the main effects of household economic and academic stress on psychological distress. Second, the moderating effects of gender and parents/caregivers’ essential worker status on the association between household economic and academic stress, and psychological distress were examined. Third, the three-way interaction effect of household economic stress, gender, and parents/caregivers’ essential worker status on psychological distress as well as the three-way interaction effect of academic stress, gender, and parents/caregivers’ essential worker status on psychological distress were calculated. Results: Household economic and academic stress were associated with psychological distress. However, these associations did not vary based on adolescents’ gender or parents/caregivers’ essential worker status. The three-way interaction for household economic stress, parents/caregivers’ essential worker status, and gender for psychological distress was significant. Specifically, the effects of household economic stress on psychological distress was worse for boys than girls whose parents/caregivers were essential workers. Furthermore, the three-way interaction among academic stress, parents/caregivers’ essential worker status, and gender was significant. Particularly, the effects of academic stress when grades were worse on adolescents’ psychological distress was worse for boys than girls whose parents/caregivers were essential workers. Conclusion: Parents/caregivers’ essential worker status was salient among Mexican American adolescents’ mental health outcomes during COVID-19, particularly for adolescent boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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