Bicultural competence, acculturative family distancing, and future depression in Latino/a college students: a moderated mediation model.J Couns Psychol. 2014 Jul; 61(3):427-36.JC
In his acculturative family distancing (AFD) theory, Hwang (2006b) argued that acculturation gaps among parents and youth may lead to psychological and emotional distancing. AFD includes 2 dimensions: incongruent cultural values and breakdowns in communication. This study examined whether bicultural competence (BC) served as a mediator and moderator for the relationship between AFD and depression using structural equation modeling. Two hundred and forty-one Latino/a college students attending predominantly White, midwestern universities completed an online survey at 2 time points. For mediation, results indicated that BC at Time 2 (T2) mediated the relationship between AFD at Time 1 (T1) and depression at T2 above and beyond the effects of depression, acculturation, and enculturation at T1. A bootstrap method estimated the significance of the indirect effect. Moreover, 16% of the variance in BC at T2 was explained by acculturation, enculturation, and AFD at T1; 30% of the variance in depression at T2 was explained by BC at T2 and depression at T1. Post hoc analyses of the AFD and BC dimensions suggested that (a) positive attitudes toward both groups, communication ability, and social groundedness were significant mediators for the incongruent cultural values-depression link and (b) communication ability and social groundedness were significant mediators for the communication breakdown-depression link. For moderation, the AFD × BC interaction did not significantly predict depression at T2. Limitations, future research directions, and counseling implications are discussed.