Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Jesse N. Valdez, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrea Pusavat

Third Advisor

Ruth Chao

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Cornish


Acculturation, Latino, Self-esteem, Spirituality


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between acculturation, self-esteem, spirituality and its association with depression in a community sample of Latinos. Previous research with Latinos has identified these factors as potentially being correlated with depression and with quality of life. The weight that these three variables can have on depression may be profound. Self-esteem and spirituality have been identified as protective factors that may assist individuals with depression by enhancing an individual's sense of worth. Acculturation is a construct that has been shown to influence Latinos in various ways. These variables have been established as predictors of happiness and psychological wellbeing (Hayes, Harris, & Carver, 2004). Acculturation in this study was measured by the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (BAS; Marin & Gamba, 2003); Self-esteem by the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1985); and spirituality by the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS; Fetzer, 2003). The outcome variable, depression, was measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977). The adult sample of participants for this study was solicited from the community and included one hundred and ten Latino participants from various ancestries of origin using an Internet survey tool. Hierarchal multiple regression was used to examine whether acculturation, self-esteem, and spirituality predicted depression in Latinos. Results showed that Latinos who endorsed lower levels of self-esteem tended to endorse higher rates of depression. Further, Latinos who endorsed lower levels of spirituality, specifically in forgiveness for this sample, predicted higher levels of depression. Finally, lower socio-economic status was found to be associated with higher depression scores in this sample. The relationship between acculturation and depression was non-significant. The limitations of the study included sample size, education level of the participants, socio-economic status, and an online data collection method. Clinical implications to the study include adding to the understanding of factors that affect depression in Latinos and the importance of cultural competence when working with the Latino population.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Fernando M. Avila

File size

186 p.

File format





Psychology, Counseling psychology