Mexican American adolescents' profiles of risk and mental health: A person-centered longitudinal approach

Katharine H. Zeiders, Mark W. Roosa, George P. Knight, Nancy Gonzales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Although Mexican American adolescents experience multiple risk factors in their daily lives, most research examines the influences of risk factors on adjustment independently, ignoring the additive and interactive effects of multiple risk factors. Guided by a person-centered perspective and utilizing latent profile analysis, this study identified Mexican American fifth graders' (. N=749) risk profiles based on family, peer, and socio-cultural risk factors and examined the relations of these risk profiles to mental health symptomatology in seventh grade. Results revealed three distinct profiles that differed quantitatively and qualitatively. Profiles were then linked to levels of mental health symptomatology, with youth in the highest risk profile displaying the most symptoms. Youth in two other risk profiles displayed lower levels. The findings suggest that Mexican American youth develop within distinct risk contexts that differ in their relations to adjustment. Such findings inform prevention/intervention efforts aimed at reducing mental health problems in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-612
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Mental health
  • Mexican American youth
  • Person-centered
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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