Bicultural stress, coping, and psychological functioning among Mexican-descent and White college students

Brandy Piña-Watson, Andrea J. Romero, Rachel L. Navarro, Lizette Ojeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The present study investigates associations between bicultural stress, coping, and responses to stress (RTS) in relation to depressive symptoms and self-esteem for Mexican-descent and non-Latinx White college students. Method: With a sample of 268 Mexican-descent and non-Latinx White college students, two multiple-mediation path models and two moderation models are examined. Results: The hypothesized mediation models were both supported indicating higher bicultural stress is associated with higher reporting of engaged and disengaged forms of coping and RTS. Engaged coping was associated with mental health resiliency while disengaged coping and RTS contributed to vulnerability. Disengaged and secondary engaged coping were mediators in the depressive symptoms and self-esteem models. In terms of moderation, disengaged coping and RTS were both moderators in the bicultural stress–depressive symptoms relationships. Conclusions: College students' reactions to bicultural stress may either promote mental health resiliency through engaged strategies or increase vulnerability through disengaged coping and involuntary RTS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1266
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Latino college student
  • bicultural stress
  • coping
  • depression
  • self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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