Familism Values and Adjustment Among Hispanic/Latino Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Karina M. Cahill, Kimberly A. Updegraff, José M. Causadias, Kevin M. Korous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Familism is a key cultural value that emphasizes support and attachment, loyalty, honor, and obligation to the family and is hypothesized to be critical in shaping family dynamics and individual adjustment among Hispanic/Latino individuals. To advance the field, we drew from cultural-ecological and developmental models to examine familism as a cultural promotive and risk factor for individual adjustment and family relationship quality. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis via a search between 2017 and 2020 and identified 126 records (23% unpublished dissertations) from 73 independent studies (12% longitudinal) in PsycINFO/Proquest, PubMed, and ERIC databases between 1993 and 2019. The multilevel meta-analysis revealed significant effects: educational outcomes, r =.16, 95% CI [.08,.23]; family relationships, which included warmth/support, r =.24, 95% CI [.19,.29], and conflict/ negativity, r = -.13, 95% CI [-.23, -.02]; internalizing symptoms, r = -.12, 95% CI [-.16, -.09]; and externalizing symptoms, r = -.10, 95% CI [-.18, -.03]. We tested conceptually driven moderators and found significant variation by sample (e.g., nativity, developmental period) and context characteristics (i.e., U.S. states characterized as “established” or “new/emerging” for Hispanic/Latino populations). Findings suggest that familism may function more as a promotive and less as a risk factor and that continued attention is needed to the conditions that strengthen or weaken these associations. Although conclusions are limited because most effect sizes were from cross-sectional designs with U.S. Mexicanorigin participants and relied on self-reports, findings highlight the complex associations between familism and adjustment/relationship quality and can guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-985
Number of pages39
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021


  • Adjustment
  • Familism values
  • Hispanic
  • Latino/latina
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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