Revisiting hispanic adolescents' resilience to the effects of parental problem drinking and life stress

Manuel Barrera, Devon N. Hageman, Nancy Gonzales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Two previous studies found that life stress and parental alcoholism were not as highly related to distress for Hispanic adolescents as they were for European American adolescents (M. Barrera Jr., S. A. Li, and L. Chassin, 1993, 1995). Those findings could be interpreted as evidence of Hispanic youths' resilience, but limitations of the stress measure and the homogeneity of the Hispanic sample threatened this interpretation. The present study improved on those previous studies by using a new measure of uncontrollable stressors and a more heterogeneous Mexican American sample. Participants in this study were 175 Mexican American and 59 European American adolescents and their parents. Unlike the previous studies, results did not show that Mexican American adolescents were more resilient to parental problem drinking or life stress than were European American adolescents. Overall, life stress was related to adolescents', mothers', and fathers' reports of adolescents' psychological distress above and beyond the effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Hispanics
  • adolescents
  • gender
  • parental alcohol abuse
  • resilience
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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