Family cohesion and its relationship to psychological distress among Latino groups

Fernando I. Rivera, Peter Guarnaccia, Norah Mulvaney-Day, Julia Y. Lin, Maria Torres, Margarita Alegra

Publication Date: 08/01/2008

This article presents analyses of a representative sample of U.S. Latinos (N = 2,540) to investigate whether family cohesion moderates the effects of cultural conflict on psychological distress. The results for the aggregated Latino group suggest a significant association between family cohesion and lower psychological distress, and the combination of strong family cohesion with presence of family cultural conflict is associated with higher psychological distress. However, this association differs by Latino groups. In this study, no association for Puerto Ricans is seen; Cuban results are similar to the aggregate group, family cultural conflict in Mexicans is associated with higher psychological distress whereas family cohesion in other Latinos is associated with higher psychological distress. Implications of these findings are discussed to unravel the differences in family dynamics across Latino subethnic groups.