Mother-Adolescent Communication in Low-Income, Latino Families during Language Brokering: Examining the Theory of Resilience and Relational Load

Lisa Guntzviller, Ningxin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Low-English proficiency parents often have their bilingual children translate, called language brokering. Brokering can be stressful for low-income, Latino adolescents, who are already at-risk for depression. We tested the theory of resilience and relational load (TRRL) in a new context (in 100 low-income, Latino mother-adolescent dyads who engaged in language brokering) and extended TRRL by proposing security- and threat-based behaviors and appraisals can be represented by interaction goals. We examined mother warmth, mother brokering interaction goals of supporting and monitoring the adolescent, adolescent brokering feelings, and adolescent depressive symptoms. Mothers’ support goal was a protective factor against adolescent depression, but only when adolescents also inferred mothers pursued this goal. Adolescent positive brokering feelings were also a protective factor, as when positive feelings were high, the positive association between negative feelings and depression was not present. Findings supported TRRL propositions about relational maintenance, security-based goals, emotional reserves, and mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication

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