Navigating the bridge: Bicultural stress, perceived bicultural competence, and coping flexibility among Latina/os

Botello Zamarron, Raquel
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Latina/os in the U.S. often have an active identity in both their culture and the mainstream culture. Bicultural stress is the strain that generates from navigating two cultures and the differences that may arise between them (Chiang, 2007). It is important to understand the implications bicultural stress on Latinos and the mechanism that may have a role in its relationship with depression. Perceived bicultural competence is the notion of being able to navigate two cultures fluidly without a feeling sacrificing a sense of self (LaFromboise, Coleman, & Gerton, 1993). Coping flexibility is one’s ability to change and modify coping behaviors depending on the nature of the stressful situation (Cheng, Lau, & Chen, 2014). In this study, a moderated mediation model was examined where perceived bicultural competence mediated the relation with bicultural stress and depression. Additionally, to further explore contextual coping, coping flexibility is posed as a moderating variable in the relationship between (a) bicultural stress and depression (b) perceived bicultural competence and depression (c) bicultural stress and perceived bicultural competence. Rationale for hypotheses and plans for this study are discussed. Results supported the hypothesized mediation role of perceived bicultural competence to the relationship of bicultural stress and depression. Coping flexibility moderated the mediated relationship of perceived bicultural competence and bicultural stress to depression. Moderation was not observed between bicultural stress and depression and between bicultural stress and perceived bicultural competences. Results, implications to counseling, research limitations and future research directions were discussed.

Bicultural competence, Biculturalism, Bicultural stress, Coping flexibility, Latino psychology