Social contexts, adolescent misconduct, and psychological adjustment among Chinese American and Filipino American adolescents
Chan, Raymond W., Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Hetherington, E. Mavis, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Patterson, Charlotte, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Wilson, Melvin, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
McCollam, Karen Schmidt, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Nock, Steven L., Department of Sociology, University of Virginia
This study examined the associations between social contexts (parents, peers, schools, and neighborhoods) and adolescent psychological adjustment (misconduct and psychological distress) among a sample of Chinese American (n = 154) and Filipino American (n = 261) adolescents. Adolescents' data were selected from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Results indicated that in terms of psychological distress, adolescent immigrants in this sample (n = 195) reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than adolescents born in the United States (n = 220), regardless of ethnic background. Filipino American adolescents also reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than Chinese American adolescents. Differences in levels of misconduct did not emerge as a function of immigration experience or ethnic background in this sample.
In addition to mean level information, this dissertation examined whether there were group differences such as those in immigration experiences or ethnic background that may illuminate differences in the process by which an Asian American adolescent's social ecology influences their psychological adjustment. Overall, results showed that higher levels of adolescent misconduct were associated with lower levels of parenting and higher levels of peer integration. Higher levels of psychological distress were associated lower levels of parenting and lower levels of school assimilation.
Multiple-group structural equation model analyses revealed interesting group differences in the associations between social contexts and psychological adjustment as a function of adolescents' ethnic background, adolescents' generations in the United States, and adolescents' gender.
Results underscore the importance of considering multiple contexts in order to properly understand adolescent adjustment. Implications for future research with ethnic minority adolescents and their psychosocial adjustment are discussed.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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