Spanish language preference and depressive symptoms: a risky combination for Mexican/Mexican-American males

Date
2015
Authors
Perrotte, Jessica K.
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Abstract

The present study investigated the influence of heritage cultural practices, measured by Spanish language preference (SLP), and depressive symptoms on existing gender differences in risky behavior. This cross-sectional study used a sample of Mexican/Mexican-American young adults (N = 696) from universities located in four regions across the United States (i.e. California, Florida, New York, and Texas). Tests of moderated mediation found that males who had higher levels of SLP also had higher levels of depressive symptoms and engaged in more risky behavior. Contrary to previous literature, no relationship was found between language preference and risky behavior in females. Findings from this study suggest that retaining heritage cultural practices may have adverse consequences for Mexican/Mexican-American males, both emotionally and behaviorally. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Keywords
acculturation, depressive symptoms, gender, language preference, Latino, risky behavior
Citation
Department
Psychology