Effortful control as a mediator between contextual stressors and adjustment in Midwestern Latino youth.

The challenges of transitioning into adolescence may be exacerbated for Latino youth whom, on average, often experience additional unique stressors such as discrimination and poverty. However, self-regulation traits, such as effortful control, could protect youth against the negative effects of stressors. Using a resilience framework, we examined the relations of multicultural stressors on depressive and externalizing problems in Latino youth, and tested if effortful control counteracted these relations. We hypothesized that stressors would positively predict depressive and externalizing problems, but that effortful control would compensate against these risks. Latino families with a fifth-grade child (N = 57, mean age = 10.5, 57.9% female, 83% two-parent) living in the Midwest were recruited utilizing community resources. Data were cross-sectionally analyzed using structural equation modeling in Mplus. Stressors were positively associated with depressive and externalizing problems, whereas effortful control had negative direct effects on maladjustment. Results suggest that effortful control may help counteract contextual risks commonly experienced by Latino youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)