familism, adjustment, Mexicans, problem behaviors
Research has demonstrated that family of origin environment impacts outcomes for individuals; however, the extent to which attitudes toward family impact outcomes is less clear. One construct stemming from family studies is related to the importance and value individuals place on their nuclear and extended families of childhood. The construct, known as familism, encompasses multiple aspects of individuals' relationships with their childhood families. It has been suggested by some that cultures that tend to be collectivistic (e.g., on-European-based cultures) tend to value family unity and loyalty relatively more than individualistic cultures (e.g., European-based cultures). The purpose of this study was to examine familism from a cross-national perspective. Specifically, Mexicans and non-Latino White Americans were compared on their levels of familism in relation to psychosocial adjustment. Broadly speaking, the goal was to determine if distinct cultural groups differ on familism, and if familism-feeling supported and a sense of solidarity with one's family-is associated with a less problematic behaviors and higher psychological adjustment. Individuals completed measures assessing familism as well as psychological adjustment and problematic behaviors (psychological well-being, empathy, and symptoms of anxiety, depression, somatization, alcohol misuse, aggressiveness, antisocial features, and history of criminal acts). Interestingly, results suggested that, in practical terms, Whites and Mexicans did not differ in their endorsement of levels of familism. For both groups, familism was correlated with psychological well-being and problem behaviors. Implications of these findings and areas for future research will be discussed.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Lunt, Rachael, "Mexicans' And United States Whites' Commitment To Familism And Its Relation With Psycholcocial Adjustment: A Cross National Comparison" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4275.