Examining the Impact of the Cultural Gap Narrative on Family Functioning and Youth Substance Use among the HCHS/SOL Youth population. Open Access

Cantu, Cera (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/6h440t58k?locale=en


The acculturation gap theory provides a more complex illustration of how cultural orientations affect health behaviors among adolescents by assuming that compromised family functioning results from gaps in cultural orientations between parents and their children, leading children to adopt negative health behaviors. The unique impact of cultural conflict on adolescent health in immigrant Asian-American households has been studied previously, yet, few studies on the topic of acculturation conflict have focused on Latino youth. This analysis explored the assumptions that there is a positive association between familial cultural orientation gaps and family functioning or adolescent cigarette use and that family functioning modifies the relationship between familial cultural orientation gaps and childhood cigarette use among the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth (SOL Youth) population. The analysis utilized two methods of conceptualizing discrepancies in cultural orientations between caregiver-child dyads, the interaction method and matched/mismatched method. All logistic regression models adjusted for age and gender of both caregivers and adolescents; children’s immigration generation, ethnic identity, and Latino background; and caregivers’ highest level of education. Using both methods, there was no statistical evidence that gaps in cultural orientations predict family functioning or cigarette use. There was statistical evidence that family functioning modified the relationship between familial cultural orientation gaps and childhood cigarette use in one model. Current popular thinking tends to attribute acculturation gaps to many youth problem behaviors, but this might not always be the case. The results from this analysis underscores the need to refine the framework behind this theory. 

Table of Contents

Background. 1

Methods. 6

Results. 12

Discussion. 16

Strengths and Weaknesses. 18

Future Directions. 19

References. 20

Table 1. 26

Table 2. 27

Table 3. 27

Table 4. 27

Table 5. 28

Table 6. 28

Figure 1. 29

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