Date of Award

11-21-2008

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc, PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Gregory J. Jurkovic, PhD

Third Advisor

Frank J. Floyd, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Christopher C. Henrich, PhD

Fifth Advisor

Leslie C. Jackson, PhD

Abstract

Filial responsibility was examined among a sample of Latino adolescents using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data in order to understand both the positive and negative impact different patterns of responsibilities may have on psychological adjustment and interpersonal competence. This study attempted to move beyond a deficit-based approach to also understanding the mechanisms that allow youth to thrive despite exposure to difficult situations. Furthermore, birth order, gender, and immigration age were examined as potential moderators. Cluster analysis identified four groups based on adolescents’ self-reported levels of responsibility, including, fair balanced, unfair overwhelmed, fair low, and unfair low. Results found that adolescents who perceived their responsibilities as fair reported better levels of psychological adjustment. In addition, adolescents in the fair low cluster reported lower levels of interpersonal competence than all other cluster groups. Lastly, birth order was found to moderate the relation between cluster group and positive psychological adjustment. Specifically, oldest children in the unfair overwhelmed cluster reported higher levels of positive psychological adjustment than oldest children in the unfair low cluster.

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