Cultural orientations, daily activities, and adjustment in Mexican American youth

Susan M. McHale, Kimberly Updegraff, Ji Yeon Kim, Emily Cansler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The links between youth's daily activities and adjustment and the role of cultural practices and values in these links were studied in 469 youth from 237 Mexican American families. In home interviews, data on mothers', fathers', and two adolescent-age siblings' cultural practices (language use, social contacts) and values (for familism, for education achievement) were collected, along with data on youth risky behavior and depressive symptoms. In 7 nightly phone calls, youth reported on their day's free time activities (i.e., sports, academics, religious activities, television viewing, and hanging out). Analyses revealed that youth who spent more time in unsupervised hanging out reported more depressive symptoms and risky behavior, and those who spent more time in academic activities reported less risky behavior. Results also indicated that more Anglo-oriented youth spent more time in sports, that more Mexican-oriented youth spent more time watching television, that fathers' familism values were related to youth's time in religious activities, and that parents' educational values were linked to youth's time in academic activities. Some evidence indicated that parents' cultural practices and values, particularly fathers', moderated the links between daily activities and youth adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-641
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Adjustment
  • Adolescence
  • Culture
  • Family processes
  • Mexican American
  • Time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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