Department of Psychology pres.
CANCELLED Developmental Brown Bag:
Andrea Mora, Graduate Student Social Work and Developmental Psychology; Jessica Montoro Graduate Student Developmental Psychology
Neighborhood Dangers Facing Adolescents: Community Violence and Gender-Based Harassment
Ample research examines community violence as a serious public health problem that disproportionately affects minority adolescents (World Health Organization, 2002). Although a rising public health concern as well (Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2016), less research investigates adolescents’ experiences of gender-based harassment in poor, urban neighborhoods. Using data from 416 urban, low-income Latino/a adolescents (53% female; Mage = 15.5), this study examined the relations between community violence exposure (CVE), gender-based harassment, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and the moderating role of parent-child cohesion. Findings revealed that greater exposure to both CVE and gender-based harassment was associated with greater PTSD symptoms. Notably, the effect of gender-based harassment on PTSD symptoms was far greater than the effect of community violence. Additionally, the association between gender-based harassment and PTSD symptoms was exacerbated when parent-child cohesion was high, compared to when it was low or average. Findings highlight the importance of examining gender-based harassment when studying violence in neighborhoods to fully capture urban adolescents' experiences in their communities.
Latinx Adolescents Facing Multiple Daily Stressors and the Protective Role of Familismo
Familism, or familismo, is a highly endorsed Latinx cultural value that encompasses using family members as attitudinal and behavioral exemplars, turning to family members as sources of support, and prioritizing the family’s well-being over the individual’s (Stein et al., 2014). Although several studies have examined whether familismo protects youth from one type of stressor at a time (e.g. community violence exposure, discrimination, substance abuse), few scholars have compared the differential effects of both general and cultural stressors on Latinx youth’s psychological functioning (Ayón et al., 2010; Stein et al., 2012). This study examined the potentially protective effects of familismo among Latinx adolescents facing a myriad of stressors, both cultural and general. Survey data for this study were drawn from a sample of 224 low-income, Latinx 9th graders (age M = 14.5) attending 3 high schools in the Northeastern United States. When both cultural and general stressors were accounted for, greater material need was associated with increased depressive symptoms and a less positive future orientation. Moreover, familismo endorsement protected adolescents from depressive symptoms linked to material hardship. Results suggest that cultural stressors may be less distressing to Latinx adolescents compared to general stressors, like financial hardship, and familismo is an important cultural value that may help Latinx adolescents navigate various types of stressors.
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