Pathways from acculturation stress to negative friends and substance use among Latino adolescents Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Buchanan, Rachel L.
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • This dissertation is comprised of three separate studies that examine acculturation processes and their effects on negative friend associations and substance use among Latino adolescents. The purpose of the first study was to review methods used to measure acculturation and to examine the validity of a multidimensional acculturation scale – the Bicultural Involvement Questionnaire (BIQ). The second study examined how acculturation stress, family relationships, and adolescent mental health problems contribute to the development of negative friend associations for Latino adolescents. Finally, the third study examined the link between acculturation stress and substance use for Latino adolescents, taking into consideration the adolescent’s mental health problems, family, and friend relationships. Data from the Latino Acculturation and Health Project, a longitudinal study of the acculturation experiences of Latino families in North Carolina and Arizona, were used in all three studies. Study one analyses were conducted using Mplus 4.2, while Amos 7.0 was used for analyses in studies two and three. Results from study one indicate that the BIQ needs slight modification before being used with Latino adolescents and more extensive modification for use with Latino adults. Following modification, the scale was found to be an effective measure of acculturation for both populations. For studies two and three, family relationships and adolescent mental health problems were significant mediators between acculturation stress and the outcome variables of negative friend associations and substance use. The acculturation process and its relationship with adolescent outcomes is complex. Further exploration into acculturation measurement is needed in order to improve our understanding of this multifaceted construct. When considering the effects of acculturation for Latino adolescents, special attention must be paid to the roles of family relationships and mental health outcomes. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. Funding for this dissertation was provided by the Jessie Ball DuPont Dissertation Completion Fellowship.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Smokowski, Paul
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.