Acculturation, Biculturalism, and Familistic Cultural Values' Relationship With Latino Mental Health

Nathalie Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso


As the Latino population increases in the United States, mental health professionals encounter mixed research findings on immigrant mental health. There seems to be an epidemiological paradox in relation to Latino mental health and the effect that acculturation has on anxiety and depression symptoms among this minority population. One discernible research limitation in the existing literature is that researchers measure acculturation as a unidimensional, rather than multidimensional, construct. The present study examined not only acculturation, but also biculturalism, as correlates of depression and anxiety symptoms in a Latino population. Additionally, the present study identified potential Latino cultural buffers against depressive and anxious symptoms. Specifically, the present study assessed the Latino cultural value of familismo as a moderator between acculturation and levels of depression in Latinos. Lastly, an evaluation of Latinos’ endorsement of the broader Latino ideology, collectivism, was conducted to determine its relationship with biculturalism and mental health symptoms. The present study found bicultural individuals report lower self-reported depressive symptomology. Although no relationship was found between acculturation, familismo, and mental health outcomes, Latinos did endorse more collectivistic values towards family than friends and colleagues. Specifically, biculturalism was found to effect the degree an individual endorses familistic collectivism values, resulting in lower self-reported stress symptoms. Such findings set a foundation to further probe such Latino cultural values and what components of each core values have positive or negative effects on Latino mental health. ^

Subject Area

Social psychology|Counseling Psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Nathalie, "Acculturation, Biculturalism, and Familistic Cultural Values' Relationship With Latino Mental Health" (2018). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10824744.