Abstract: Intergenerational Acculturative Stress Pathways between Parental Marginalized Acculturation Type and Multiracial Youth Depression (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

336P Intergenerational Acculturative Stress Pathways between Parental Marginalized Acculturation Type and Multiracial Youth Depression

Friday, January 17, 2020
Marquis BR Salon 6 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
In young Park, MSW, Doctoral Student, MSW, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Backgrounds: Immigrants acculturate to varying degrees, ranging from completely absorbed into the host culture to marginalized from both host and heritage culture. Among different types of acculturation, marginalization, known as denying both heritage and dominant culture, can be a stressful experience for immigrant parents, which may lead to adverse mental health outcomes of their children. While a handful of research on immigrant families has shown associations between acculturation experience, stress and child well-being, little is still known about mechanisms through which maternal specific acculturation style is associated with youth’s depression among multiracial families in Korea. Using the family stress model as a guide, this study aimed to test the effects of maternal marginalized acculturation (MMA) on multiracial youth’s depression (YD) and examine pathway through which immigrant mothers’ acculturative stress (MAS) and youth’s acculturative stress (YAS) sequentially mediate the influence of MMA on YD.

Methods: The study utilized the Multicultural Children and Adolescents Panel Study (MCAPS), a longitudinal dataset containing information on a nationally representative sample of multiracial families (n=1224) in Korea. The subjects comprised multiracial youth ages 14 to 16 (M=14.96, SD=0.35) and their foreign-born mothers immigrated from China (18.3%), Vietnam (2.6%), Philippine (23.5%), Japan (38.5%), and Thailand (3.8%). MMA was reported by mothers with 3 items assessing experiences of feeling marginalized from both cultural groups (e.g., Neither Korean nor person from my ethnic group understands me). MAS and YAS were assessed with 8 items and 10 items respectively derived from the Social, Attitudinal, Familial, and Environmental Acculturative Stress scale (e.g., I feel stressful for living in Korea). Covariates included key sociodemographic factors and immigration-related variables of immigrant mothers (e.g., Korean proficiency and length of stay in Korea), and daily stress. Two mediation models were analyzed: 1) single mediation models for MAS and YAS; and 2) a sequential mediation model that tested the pathway by which MMA (X) was indirectly associated with YD (Y) through MAS (M1) and YAS (M2).

Results: The results showed that MMA has a statistically significant positive association with DY (B=.059; P<.001). While single full mediation of YAS was found statistically significant (total indirect effect=.019; 95%CI: [.003, .035]), no significant indirect effect of MAS was observed in the relationship between MMA and YD. In the final sequential model, the relationship between higher MMA and higher DY was fully mediated by a sequence of MAS and YAS (B=.027, 95% CI: [0.005, 0.050]). These findings suggest that  maternal marginalized acculturation experience is associated with increased familial transmitted acculturative stress in multiracial youth, increasing the risk for subsequent depression.

Conclusions and Implications: Current models for intervening with acculturative stress in Korea have primarily targeted immigrant mothers for assimilating into Korean culture, and focus minimally on their multiracial child as targets. The findings uniquely emphasize that intervention approaches should be family-centered by involving children and focus on cultural adaptation. Facilitating interventions to enhance community supports as well as cultural competence can reduce intergenerational transmission of acculturation stress and prevent multiracial youth's depression.