THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN STUDENT
MENTAL HEALTH,
ACCULTURATIVE STRESS
AND ACADEMIC
PERFORMANCE: A CROSSCULTURAL ANALYSIS
Loren Albeg
Sara Castro Olivo, PhD
Valerie Perry
University of California, Riverside
INTRODUCTION
MENTAL HEALTH
 20%
of U.S. school-age children report
symptoms related to mental health disorders
(Surgeon General Report, 1999)
 66%
of the 20% do not receive proper
treatment (Surgeon General Report, 1999)
 10%
of U.S. school-age children 9 and older
report serious emotional disturbances (Surgeon
General Report, 1999)
 These
percentages are even higher for
underrepresented ethnic minority groups
(Surgeon General Report, 2001)
MENTAL HEALTH: ETHNIC
MINORITIES
 Ethnic
minorities are less likely to receive
proper treatment for mental health problems
(Surgeon General Report, 1999; Gonzales & Kim, 1997; Vega &Rumbaut,
1991).
 50%
of students with serious emotional
disturbances drop out of high school (President’s
New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003)
 Dropout
rates are higher for ethnic minority
students (National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students,
1996)
 By
2026 48% of children will be from racial
and ethnic minority groups (Surgeon General Report,
2001)
MENTAL HEALTH AND ACADEMICS
 American
schools reach 48 million
students for 1,080 hours per year (Kolbe et. al
1997; Gresham 1995)
 Schools
are in a unique position to provide
preventative mental health care (President’s New
Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003)
 Mental
health is essential to learning!
(President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003)

Mental health is related to academic
performance (Mistry, Benner, Tan, & Kim, 2009; Schwartz &
Gorman, 2003)
ACCULTURATIVE STRESS

Acculturative stress represents the negative “side
effects” of acculturation, including pressures to
retain aspects of the heritage culture as well as
pressures to acquire aspects of the receiving
culture (Rodriguez, Myers, Mira, Flores, & Garcia-Hernandez, 2002)

Ex: Collectivism vs. Individualism
ACCULTURATIVE STRESS, MENTAL
HEALTH, & ACADEMICS
 Ethnicity
related factors and acculturative
stress are potential risk factors for school
failure (Altschul, Oyserman, &Bybee, 2008; Supple et al., 2006;
Schwartz, Zamboanga, and Jarvis, 2007)
 Theory
and some of our preliminary data
indicate that acculturative stress, mental
health and academic performance are
related (Blanco-Vega, Castro-Olivo, & Merrell, 2008; Castro Olivo,
2006).
GOALS
AIMS OF THE PRESENT STUDY
1)
Add to the literature on mental health,
acculturative stress, and academic performance
1)
Apply the relationships between mental health,
acculturative stress, and academic performance
across cultures
2)
Inform practice
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Are mental health symptoms associated with academic
performance?
Is acculturative stress associated with academic
performance?
Is acculturative stress associated with mental health
symptoms?
Do acculturative stress levels and mental health symptoms
differ by English language proficiency level/ primary
language?
Do acculturative stress levels and mental symptoms differ
by race/ethnicity?
METHODS
PARTICIPANTS
 Performing
Arts Magnet School: a middle
school in the Inland Empire
1,633 enrolled in 2008-2009 school year
 72% Hispanic/Latino
 79% Socioeconomically disadvantaged
 30% English Learners

N



= 66
26 boys; 40 girls
Median Age: 13 yrs
48% English Language Learners
PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED…
PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED..
MEASURES

Academic Performance





Acculturative Stress


Student records
Teacher Report on Academic and Class Performance
School Functioning subscale of Behavior and Emotional Rating
Scale-2nd Edition (BERS-2): Youth Rating Scale
School Belonging subscale of People in My Life (PIML).
Acculturative Stress Inventory for Children (ASIC)
Mental Health

Symptoms Test
RESULTS
RESULTS
Question #1: Are mental health symptoms
associated with academic performance?

Variables Analyzed:
Measure of mental health symptoms:
 Symptoms Test (child report)
 Measures of academic performance:
 California State Test scores (2009)
 GPA
 Teacher Report on Academic and Class Performance
 School Functioning subscale of the BERS-2 (child report)
 School Belonging subscale of People in My Life (child
report)

QUESTION #1 RESULTS
QUESTION #1 RESULTS
QUESTION #1 RESULTS
QUESTION #1 RESULTS
RESULTS CONTINUED…
Research Question #2: Is acculturative stress
associated with academic performance?

Variables Analyzed:
Measure of Acculturative stress:
 Acculturative Stress Inventory for Children (ASIC)-child
report
 Measures of academic performance:
 California State Test scores (2009)
 GPA
 Teacher Report on Academic and Class Performance
 School Functioning subscale of the BERS-2 (child report)
 School Belonging subscale of People in My Life (child
report)

QUESTIONS #2: RESULTS
QUESTIONS #2: RESULTS
RESULTS CONTINUED…
Research Question #3: Is acculturative stress
associated with mental health symptoms?

Variables Analyzed:
Measure of Acculturative stress:
 Acculturative Stress Inventory for Children (ASIC)-child
report
 Measure of Mental Health Symptoms:
 Symptoms Test (child report)

QUESTIONS #3: RESULTS
RESULTS CONTINUED…
Research Question #4: Do acculturative stress
levels and mental health symptoms differ by
English language proficiency level/ primary
language?

Variables Analyzed:

Acculturative Stress Inventory for Children (ASIC)-child
report and Symptoms Test (child report) were analyzed by
California English Language Development (CELDT) Level
and Primary Language Spoken at Home
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
MEANS BY CELDT LEVEL
Acculturative Stress
25
Acculturative Stress
20
15
10
5
N: 1
M: 22
SD: -
N: 10
M: 18
SD:7.3
N: 13
M: 16
SD: 11
N: 4
M: 18
SD: 5.3
M: 15.5
SD: 9.4
N: 62
M: 16
SD: 9.1
Non-ELL
Total
N: 34
0
Early
Intermediate
Intermediate
Early
Advanced
Advanced
CELDT Level
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
MEANS BY CELDT LEVEL
Mental Health
18
16
14
Symptoms
12
10
8
6
4
2
N: 1
M: 12
SD: -
N: 10
M:14.3
SD: 5.4
Early Interm.
Interm.
N:14
M:15.6
SD: 4.2
N: 6
M:14.5
SD:3.9
N: 34
SD: 5.5
N: 65
M: 13.7
SD: 5.1
Non-ELL
Total
M: 12.7
0
Early
Advanced
Advanced
CELDT Level
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
CELDT
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
MEANS BY PRIMARY LANGUAGE
Acculturative Stress
20
18
Acculturative Stress
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
N: 31
M: 14.58
SD: 9.8
N: 31
M: 14.58
SD: 9.8
N: 31
M: 18.19
SD: 8.04
N: 62
M: 16.39
SD: 9.07
0
Eng/Biling/Other
Spanish
Primary Language Spoken At Home
Total
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
MEANS BY PRIMARY LANGUAGE
Mental Health
16
14
Symptoms
12
10
8
6
4
2
N: 33
M: 13.49
SD: 5.33
N: 32
M: 13.97
SD: 5.08
N: 65
M: 13.72
SD: 5.08
0
Eng/Biling/Other
Spanish
Primary Language Spoken At Home
Total
QUESTION #4: RESULTS
PRIMARY LANGUAGE
RESULTS CONTINUED…
Research Question #5: Do acculturative stress
levels and mental symptoms differ by race/
ethnicity?

Variables Analyzed:

Acculturative Stress Inventory for Children (ASIC) and
Symptoms Test were analyzed by race/ethnicity
QUESTION #5: RESULTS
MEANS BY DICHOTOMIZED ETHNICITY
Acculturative Stress
18
16
Acculturative Stress
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
N: 51
M: 17.12
SD: 8.97
N: 11
M: 13
SD: 9.19
N: 62
M: 16.39
SD: 9.07
0
Hispanic
Non-Hispanic
Ethnicity
Total
QUESTION #5: RESULTS
MEANS BY DICHOTOMIZED ETHNICITY
Mental Health
16
14
Symptoms
12
10
8
6
4
2
N: 54
M: 14.2
SD: 5.03
N: 11
M: 11.36
SD: 4.9
N: 65
M: 13.72
SD: 5.08
0
Hispanic
Non-Hispanic
Ethnicity
Total
CONCLUSIONS

Known:
Acculturative stress is significantly related to mental
health
 Mental health is significantly related to academics


Unknown:
Is acculturative stress directly and significantly related to
academic performance?
 Do levels of acculturative stress and mental health
symptoms differ by ethnicity?
 Do levels of acculturative stress and mental health
symptoms differ by English language development level or
primary language spoken at home?

IMPLICATIONS FOR
PRACTICE AND
FUTURE RESEARCH
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE

Culturally adapted interventions that specifically
address acculturative stress and mental health


Ex: Jovenes Fuertes
Potential Target Group?:
FUTURE DIRECTIONS AND
LIMITATIONS
 Continue
data collection
 Middle schools
 High schools
 Continue recruiting a more diverse
sample
 Determine directional relationships
between variables
 Limitations
Potential self-selection bias
 Sample
 Analysis

MENTAL HEALTH SYMPTOMS: A
POTENTIAL MEDIATING FACTOR?
Acculturative
Stress
Mental
Health
Symptoms
Academic
Performance
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The Relationship Between Mental Health, Acculturative