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Evaluation of an exploratory model addressing the role of acculturation gap on sexual risk communication between Hispanic mother and daughter
AuthorBrosh, Joanne E.
AdvisorEvans, William P.
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Sexual risk behavior trends have been found among Hispanic girls in the U.S. Research has found that reported condom use is particularly low for Hispanic adolescents (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2005). The acculturation process is one factor that has been found to affect sexual health behavior outcomes. The present study evaluated exploratory models linking one acculturation theory, the acculturation gap hypothesis, to sexual risk communication between Hispanic mother and daughter, and ultimately condom use. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was used and the models were evaluated using structural equation modeling (SEM). All five iterations of the model tested were not significant. Despite the outcomes, the results do provide some insight into certain relationships for Hispanic adolescents. Specifically, the acculturation gap hypothesis appears to be an important theoretical construct when examining relations between Hispanic mother and daughter; as Hispanic adolescents spend more time in the U.S., dissonance in the relationship with their mothers increases. In addition, sexual risk communication seems to be dependent on the degree to which Hispanic adolescent mothers experience comfort in discussing these topics. More research is needed, however, to determine what combination of risk and protective factors ultimately influence condom use among Hispanic adolescents.