Negative perceived context of reception and sociocultural resources on mental health among Hispanic and Somali adolescents

Shu Sha Angie Guan, Velia Nunez, Eunice Areba, Myriam Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although immigrant negative perceived context of reception (PCOR), perceptions of the opportunities and degree of acceptance in an immigrant-receiving community, has been linked with compromised adolescent well-being, receiving contexts may differ by region and for youth from different ethnic backgrounds. The current study examines how negative PCOR and factors that promote resilience differentially shape mental health among Hispanic and Somali adolescents in Minnesota. Hispanic (n = 163) and Somali (n = 186) first- and second-generation youth aged 12–19 completed a survey on negative PCOR, assets and resources (i.e., ethnic identity, social support, religious participation), and mental well-being (i.e., anxiety and depressive symptoms). Parents and caregivers also completed a survey on PCOR and social support. Adolescent negative PCOR, relative to parent/caregiver negative PCOR, was associated with higher adolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms. Religious participation and social support, reported by both parent/caregiver and adolescent, was associated with lower anxiety and depressive symptoms. Additionally, among Hispanic adolescents, social support buffered the effects of negative PCOR on depressive symptoms. Conversely, strong ethnic identity was associated with higher depressive symptoms for both groups, suggesting acculturative and assimilative pressures play an important role in adolescent mental health. Although social ties can be weakened postmigration, our results indicate that social and religious resources remain beneficial. Given that by the end of the next decade over 50% of the US youth population will identify as part of a racial or ethnic minority group, positive postimmigration adaptation is a critical public health concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-490
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Grant‐in‐Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship (GIA) program at the University of Minnesota (Grant #173625).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society for Community Research and Action.


  • Hispanic adolescents
  • Somali adolescents
  • context of reception
  • ethnic identity
  • immigrants
  • social support

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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