College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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anxiety, youth, Latino, culture, peer vicimization


There is emerging evidence that Latino youth report a higher prevalence of somatic complaints than children from other ethnic groups. Although culture has been implicated to explain these somatization differences, few studies have investigated the extent to which cultural factors actually influence the way Latino youth respo0nd to stressful events. The present study employed the problem suppression-facilitation model to posit that a Latino cultural orientation plays a moderational role in the relationship between peer victimization and physical symptoms. The present sample consisted of 134 Latino youth ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old. Analyses were conducted using structural equation modeling(SEM) employing multiple indicators for cultural orientation variables and somatization, and a manifest variable for peer victimization. No evidence was found that the Latino cultural orientation variables were associated with the expression of somatic symptoms. However, additional analyses demonstrated that the Latino cultural orientation variables may have individual effects on the expression of somatic symptoms. The results demonstrate that when other components of culture, such as femilial factors, are examined, the influence of culture begins to emerge.