Fitting in: The Roles of Social Acceptance and Discrimination in Shaping the Health of Latino Youth in the U.S. Southeast
Stephanie Potochnick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Andrew Fuligni, University of California, Los Angeles
Mental health is essential for the academic success of adolescents and their labor market opportunities in adulthood. Given changing immigration trends, this paper provides insight into how the differing contexts of reception of new and traditional receiving communities influence the daily psychological well-being of Latino youth. Using random effects models, we assess how global and daily acculturative experiences are associated with the daily psychological well-being of Latino 9th graders in North Carolina and Los Angeles. Data came from two companion studies, the Los Angeles Social Identification and Academic Adaptation study and the Southern Immigrant Academic Adaptation study. We found that Latino youth living in North Carolina experienced higher levels of daily happiness, but also experienced higher levels of daily depressive well-being and anxiety. We considered how discrimination, nativity status, social acceptance, ethnic identity, family identification and daily ethnic treatment and family relations contributed to these daily well-being differences.