Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Rachel L. Navarro


Latina/o youth represent a significant portion of the United States population and experience depressive symptoms at greater rates than other racial and ethnic groups. Prior research has found relationships between the cultural adaptation process and negative

mental health outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to test a model of depressive symptoms with a sample of Latina/o youth that aimed to explore the relations among acculturation, enculturation, bicultural stress, adherence to cultural values (i.e., familismo and respeto), family cohesion, and perceived peer support. Additionally, the present study examined gender differences among all the aforesaid variables. Participants included 156 Latina/o youth (23% male and 77% female; age range 13 to 17 years:

M =14.07 SD =1.33 years) who completed self-report measures assessing the aforementioned variables. The current study found no relationships among acculturation and enculturation and depressive symptoms. In fact, acculturation was only negatively and directly related to enculturation. Enculturation was found to be positively and directly related to familismo, respeto, and perceived peer support. While family cohesion and perceived peer support were found to be negatively and directly associated with depressive symptoms. Bicultural stress was found to be positively and directly associated with depressive symptoms. With regards to gender, girls were found to endorse more bicultural stress and depressive symptoms as well as greater levels of enculturation and perceived peer support. The findings of the present study provide important information about factors that protect against (family cohesion and perceived peer support) and contribute to (bicultural stress) depressive symptoms in Latina/o youth.