Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

Title

The Effects of Acculturation Stress, Life Events, and Daily Hassles on Automatic Thoughts in Latinx Children

Event Title

ABCT (Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies) 2020 54th Annual Convention

Event Location

Virtual

Document Type

Poster

Presentation Date

11-19-2020

Date Range

2020-11-17 to 2020-11-22

Description

Research shows that Latinx children experience more stress than children of the majority population (Knight et al., 1994). Latinx children experience more acculturative stress compared to both White and Black children (Haboush-Deloye et al., 2015; Suarez-Morales et al., 2007). Although international studies indicate that immigrants reported more daily hassles than native adolescents in Austria (Stefanek et al., 2012), research with immigrant minorities in United States regarding daily hassles is lacking. Research has examined the relationship of experiencing negative life events and negative automatic thoughts; however, this relationship has not been examined in Latinx children nor the influence of other sources of stress (Bruce et al., 2006; Flouri & Panourgia, 2014). The aim of this study is to fill the gaps in the literature and to determine if acculturative stress, life events, and daily hassles have an impact on Latinx children’s negative automatic thoughts.

The data was derived from 272 middle school children from Latinx descent in a southeastern urban community. A majority of the participants were female (63.6%) with an average age of 12.18 (SD=1.03). Participants completed questionnaires about their acculturative stress, daily hassles, life events, and automatic thoughts, whereas the parents completed information about demographics.

Three hierarchical multiple regressions were completed to predict automatic thoughts about physical threat, social threat, and personal failure. Predictor variables were entered in four steps in each regression, including demographic variables in Step 1; negative life events in Step 2; parental daily hassles and other/peer related daily hassles scores in Step 3; and perceived discrimination and immigration-related stress subscale scores in Step 4. The results indicated that for physical threat automatic thoughts, negative life events (β = .405, p < .0001), parental daily hassles (β = .248, p < .0001), other/peer daily hassles (β = .273, p < .0001), and perceived discrimination (β = .330, p < .0001) were all significant predictors. For social threat automatic thoughts, negative life events (β = .335, p < .0001), other/peer daily hassles (β = .404, p < .0001), and perceived discrimination (β = .455, p < .0001) were all significant predictors. For personal failure automatic thoughts, negative life events (β = .401, p < .0001), parental daily hassles (β = .186, p = .002), other/peer daily hassles (β = .385, p< .0001), and perceived discrimination (β = .347, p < .0001) were all significant predictors.

These results support cognitive-behavioral theory with Latinx children, specifically suggesting that acculturative stress related to perceived discrimination, daily hassles, and negative life events are associated with multiple types of negative automatic thoughts. Given that stress is related to negative automatic thoughts, which according to cognitive-behavioral theory can cause a multitude of disorders, future research should examine the mechanisms in which stress and automatic thoughts lead to mental disorders in Latinx populations.

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