Does Mexican American Latina Enculturation Moderate the Relationship Between PTSD and Academic Functioning?
Latina college students attend post-secondary education programs in the United States (U.S.) at rates equal to overall female populations but often do not finish their programs of study. As a result, they graduate at a lower rate than their female non-Latina peers. Reduced Latina graduation rates result in lower income and negative health outcomes. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that may influence US Latina graduation rates. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that includes negative affect, hypervigilance, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating, negatively affects academic functioning. Academic functioning predictors are important to understand within Latina culture. Latina enculturation factors could both buffer and aggravate PTSD. This study tested whether positive Latina enculturation sub-factors buffer the effect of PTSD on academic functioning and whether negative Latina enculturation sub-factors aggravate the effect of PTSD on academic functioning for a sample of female students of Mexican descent attending a university in the South-Central United States (U.S). The positive and negative factors of the Marianismo beliefs scale (MBS) theorized in the literature could not be psychometrically validated. However, the silencing self to maintain harmony MBS sub-factor buffered the negative effect of post-traumatic stress (PTS) on college academic self-efficacy but only in the low range of the silencing self to maintain harmony MBS sub-factor. Future research in this area should increase sample size in order to psychometrically validate the positive and negative sub-scales of the MBS and also provide context for the effects of MBS factors on PTS across diverse Latina populations.