Family separation and changes in peer relationships among early adolescent Latino youth: Examining the mediating role of family relationships

2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

This longitudinal study examines whether family processes (family cohesion and family conflict) mediate the relationship between family separation experiences and the development of peer relationships (quality and conflict). The study includes a sample of 199 early adolescent Latinos from immigrant families. Family conflict mediated the relationship between separation experiences from fathers and peer conflict at year 1 but not year 2 such that more separation from father was associated with higher family conflict and higher peer conflict at year 1. Family cohesion did not mediate associations between mother or father separation and peer relationship outcomes. Family cohesion predicted more positive peer relationship quality at year 1 and family conflict predicted more peer conflict at year 1 indicating some distinction between these characteristics of relationships for families and peers. Mother separation predicted more peer conflict at year 1. This is consistent with qualitative studies of immigration experiences and separation (e.g., Baccallo & Smokowski, 2007; Suarez-Orozco et al., 2002). This study has added empirical quantitative support to show high levels of family conflict associated with family separation. Further, this study has demonstrated that youth who experience greater separation from fathers are likely to experience higher family conflict that is associated with greater peer conflict. In contrast, mother separation has a more direct association with peer conflict. Although family separations are associated with more peer conflict, they do not appear to influence change over time in peer conflict. The different paths of influence for mother separation and father separation warrant further research to explicate the unique associations between each parent's separation and family dynamics.

Index words. Latino, Immigration, Family separation, Family Cohesion, Family conflict, Peer relationships, Peer conflict, Youth, Adolescence.

Indexing (details)

Social psychology;
Developmental psychology;
Individual & family studies;
Hispanic American studies
0451: Social psychology
0620: Developmental psychology
0628: Individual & family studies
0737: Hispanic American studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Adolescent; Family separation; Latino; Peer relationships
Family separation and changes in peer relationships among early adolescent Latino youth: Examining the mediating role of family relationships
House, L. Duane
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Kuperminc, Gabriel P.
Georgia State University
University location
United States -- Georgia
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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