Rates, Associations, and Predictors of Psychopathology in a Convenience Sample of School-Aged Latino Youth: Identifying Areas for Mental Health Outreach
Format of Original
Journal of Child and Family Studies
The Latino youth population is rapidly growing and expected to comprise nearly 40 % of the total youth population by 2060. Unfortunate disparities exist in the United States (U.S.), such that young Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to receive and benefit from mental health services. In order to identify and prioritize specific areas of mental health outreach, the current study examined preliminary rates, associations, and predictors of child psychopathology in a convenience sample of Latino youth. 123 Spanish and English speaking Latino parents of school-aged children completed a series of questionnaires regarding child and family functioning. Latino youth in the current sample demonstrated comparable rates of psychopathology to non-referred, normative samples. Parental acculturation (particularly Separated parental acculturation status: high orientation to Latino culture and low orientation to U.S. mainstream culture) was associated with an increased prevalence of clinically significant psychopathology across several domains, and socioeconomic status was associated with an increased prevalence of thought problems. Additionally, Separated parental acculturation status significantly predicted the prevalence of clinically significant anxious/depressed problems, such that youth of parents displaying Separated acculturation status were significantly more represented in the clinically-elevated groups than the functional groups. These preliminary results suggest that prioritizing outreach to Latino youth of parents maintaining orientation to Latino culture but not U.S. mainstream culture may be necessary in order to begin addressing existing mental health disparities in the U.S.