All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Magdalena Szaflarski

Advisory Committee Members

Joseph D Wolfe

Bulent Turan

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This study investigates whether or not parental acculturation is associated with depression levels among youth in US-based immigrant families. Previous research has shown that even though individual acculturation is negatively correlated with adolescents’ good mental health, parental acculturation is associated with higher levels of mental health among youth. This study elaborates on these prior findings by using a large national sample of immigrant children ages 13-14 and considering the mediating role of social ties and social support. Data for the study are derived from the Children of Immigrant Longitudinal Study to examine the relationship between parental acculturation and youth depression. Acculturation is assessed with English language proficiency and preference of American way of life. Depression is measured by using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Parental social ties and social support are based on standardized measures of socialization and racial/ethnic social preference. Several hypotheses regarding the associations among parental English language proficiency, preference of American way of life, parental social ties/social support, and youth depression levels are tested by using multivariable linear regression and logistic regression. The results show that when parental social ties/social support increases, parental acculturation also increases (p<0.001). Even though there is no relationship between parental social ties/support and youth depression, there is a significant relationship between parental acculturation and youth depression level (p<.05). Furthermore, the results suggested that differences between adolescent depression and parental acculturation depend on the measurement of parental acculturation. Future directions are discussed in the light of the theoretical and contextual background.

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