Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Martha E. Wadsworth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Shirk

Third Advisor

Arthur Jones

Fourth Advisor

Karen Mallah

Fifth Advisor

Jeff Jenson


Coping, Adjustment, Poverty, Children


This study examined family influences on coping and adjustment among 90 low-income Latino middle school children (46% Female; Average age = 11.38, SD = .66) and their primary caregivers (93% Female; Average age = 36.12, SD = 6.13). All participants identified as Hispanic/Latino, with 75% of families identifying as Mexican-origin Latino, 77% of parents identifying as immigrants, and 32% of children identifying immigrants. All children participating in the study were receiving free or reduced lunch, a poverty indicator. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that family reframing is related to fewer symptoms of psychopathology and that familism enhances the protective effect of family reframing, while passive appraisal is linked to worse functioning. Path analyses showed that family reframing also has indirect effects on symptoms through child primary control coping. Additional analyses identified family mobilizing support and family ethnic socialization as potential contributors to child secondary control coping. Family mobilizing support may also be helpful for single-parent families, while family spiritual support is helpful for immigrant families. Qualitative findings from an initial focus group and from the larger sample are also discussed. Results are discussed with regard to the implications of this research for preventive interventions with families in poverty. Understanding the protective links of family coping and cultural strengths to mental health outcomes of poor children can influence intervention or prevention programming and policy targeting at-risk youth and families.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

76 p.


Clinical Psychology