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Parental Control for Latinas and Non-Latinas: Implications for Emerging Adult Mental Health

  • Aya ShigetoEmail author
  • Joseph G. Grzywacz
  • Ming Cui
Original Paper

Abstract

Objectives

The overall goal of this study was to develop a stronger understanding of the role of culture in shaping the experience of parental control and its mental health implications for emerging adults. Specifically, the study focused parental psychological and behavioral control, and their potential implications for emerging adults’ hopelessness and depressive symptoms. A core hypothesis is that associations of parental control with mental health would differ between Latinas and non-Latinas because of cultural differences in parental expectations and parent-child dynamics. Additionally, similarities and differences in the role of mothers’ and fathers’ control were explored.

Methods

The sample consisted of 330 female emerging adults, including 146 Latinas and 184 non-Latinas. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of parental psychological and behavioral control, of mothers and fathers separately, and mental health indicators.

Results

Results from path models demonstrated the relevance of mothers’ psychological control for both Latinas and non-Latinas, while differential implications of mothers’ behavioral control were found for Latinas and non-Latinas. In addition, mothers’ psychological control appeared to be more salient than fathers’ psychological control for female emerging adults’ mental health.

Conclusions

The role of culture in the function of parental control for emerging adults’ mental health is discussed.

Keywords

Depressive symptoms Emerging adulthood Hopelessness Latino culture Parental control 

Notes

Author Contributions

A.S. designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. J.G. collaborated with the design and writing of the manuscript. M.C. analyzed the data, wrote part of the results, and provided feedback on the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Nova Southeastern University as well as with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, College of PsychologyNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Child Sciences, College of Human SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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