Family stress and coping for Mexican origin adolescents

Freda F. Liu, Nancy Gonzales, Aida Cristina Fernandez, Roger E. Millsap, Larry E. Dumka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Family-related stressors pose special challenges for adolescents of Mexican origin, given traditional cultural norms that compel youths to get involved with family problems despite their limited ability to effect change. The current study examines the prospective effects of coping strategies (i.e., active, distraction, avoidance, support-seeking, and religious coping) on psychological symptoms in the context of family stress with a sample (N = 189) of Mexican Origin adolescents (11-14). Hypotheses on the limits of coping were partially supported. Stress-coping interaction effects were further moderated by gender. Stress-buffering effect of active coping for internalizing symptoms was only found for girls and only at low levels of family stress for boys. Support-seeking and distraction coping both increased internalizing symptoms for boys at high levels of family stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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