Stress and Cultural Resilience Among Low-Income Latino Adolescents: Impact on Daily Mood

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Objectives: Given that Latino adolescents endorse more negative mood when compared to their counterparts of other backgrounds (Kann et al., 2016), it is important to evaluate the impact of risk and resilience factors on negative mood among this population. The current study uses daily diary methodology to examine the associations that daily economic stress, daily family stress, familism, and ethnic identity commitment and exploration have with average daily negative mood and variability in daily negative mood. Methods: Participants included 58 (M = 13.31, 47% female) low-income Latino adolescents who completed study measures over a 1-week period along with a baseline assessment. Results: Results show that daily family stress was strongly linked to daily negative mood, whereas familism emerged as a salient resilience factor. Contrary to predictions, ethnic identity commitment appeared to be detrimental for youth’s daily negative mood; furthermore, ethnic identity exploration was found to exacerbate daily negative mood when youth were experiencing high economic stress. However, youth with stronger identities also had less variability in negative mood, specifically when experiencing high family stress. Conclusions: Although results of this study suggest familism is a key promotive factor, ethnic identity may increase vulnerability in stressful contexts. Thus, programs should build adaptive coping in order for youth with stronger ethnic identities to be prepared to deal with the harmful societal climate they reside in.

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