The Role of Economic Stress in Parents’ Depression and Warmth and Adolescents’ Prosocial Behaviors Among U.S. Latino/as

Alexandra N. Davis, Gustavo Carlo, Lisa J. Crockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The goal of the current study was to extend research on the family stress model to a sample of U.S. Latino/a adolescents, with a focus on positive social behavioral outcomes. The current study examined the indirect associations between economic stress and U.S. Latino/a adolescents’ prosocial behaviors via parents’ depressive symptoms and warmth. Participants consisted of 306 (46.2% female; Mage = 15.50 years) U.S. Latino/a adolescents (81% U.S. Mexicans) and their primary caregiver (87.9% mothers) from Nebraska communities. Parents reported on family level economic stress and their own depressive symptoms, and adolescents reported on their parents’ tendency to engage in warm parenting as well as their own prosocial behaviors. Results demonstrated partial support for the family stress model, yielding complex links between economic stressors and six forms of adolescents’ prosocial behaviors. Economic stress was linked positively to parents’ depressive symptoms, which was linked negatively to parents’ warmth. Additionally, parental depressive symptoms were positively related to emotional helping. Parental depressive symptoms also mediated the relations between economic stress and emotional helping. There were generally positive associations between parents’ warmth and prosocial behaviors. Discussion focused on the role of economic stress, parents’ mental health, and parenting in U.S. Latino/a adolescents’ adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalPeace and Conflict
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • economic stress
  • Latino/a youth
  • parenting
  • prosocial behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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