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J Adolesc Health. 2018 Apr;62(4):480-487. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.10.010. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Mental Health in Mexican-Origin Youths and Their Parents: Testing the "Linked Lives" Hypothesis.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, Indiana. Electronic address: ijpark@iupui.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
4
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Medicine, Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Erratum in

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Using a life course perspective, the present study tested the concept of "linked lives" applied to the problem of not only how racial/ethnic discrimination may be associated with poor mental health for the target of discrimination but also how discrimination may exacerbate the discrimination-distress link for others in the target's social network-in this case, the family.

METHODS:

The discrimination-distress link was investigated among 269 Mexican-origin adolescents and their parents both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. It was hypothesized that parents' discrimination experiences would adversely affect their adolescent children's mental health via a moderating effect on the target adolescent discrimination-distress link. The converse was also hypothesized for the target parents. Multilevel moderation analyses were conducted to test the moderating effect of parents' discrimination experiences on the youth discrimination-distress link. We also tested the moderating effect of youths' discrimination experiences on the parent discrimination-distress link.

RESULTS:

Parents' discrimination experiences significantly moderated the longitudinal association between youths' discrimination stress appraisals and mental health, such that the father's discrimination experiences exacerbated the youth discrimination-depression link. Youths' discrimination stress appraisals were not a significant moderator of the cross-sectional parent discrimination-mental health association.

CONCLUSIONS:

Implications of these findings are discussed from a linked lives perspective, highlighting how fathers' discrimination experiences can adversely affect youths who are coping with discrimination, in terms of their mental health.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Depression; Life course; Linked lives; Mental health; Mexican-origin adolescents and parents; Racial/ethnic discrimination

PMID:
29275862
PMCID:
PMC5866742
[Available on 2019-04-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.10.010

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