Disengaged and Involuntary Responses to Coping Mediating Relations of Bicultural Stress to Late Adolescents’ Well-being


  • A.J. Romero
  • B. Pina-Watson
  • R. Navarro
  • L. Ojeda


Bicultural stress arises from intercultural conflicts in norms, language, values, or fair treatment. Grounded in theories of risk and resilience, the present study tests a mediational model of bicultural stress, coping strategies, and mental well-being. METHODS: 268 college students aged 18-23 participated (62% were European American; 38% Mexican American) in an IRB-approved online survey at a large US university. The Bicultural Stress Scale (Romero & Roberts, 2003) measured proximate everyday life stressors that occur within a bicultural environment; other measures included the Responses to Stress Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, and the CES-D. FINDINGS: Models tested (MPlus) evidenced equivalent parameters across groups. Indirect effects (estimates from bootstrapping) showed involuntary engagement and voluntary disengagement significantly (p<.05) mediated relations between stress and well-being. DISCUSSION: Ignoring cultural stressors may have negative effects on majority and ethnic minority students’ well-being. Mindfulness strategies and others directed at reducing involuntary responses (e.g., rumination) may be applicable to promoting their college adjustments.






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