longitudinal associations of language brokering and parent-adolescent closeness in immigrant latino families: sex as a moderator

Open Access
Llerandi, Emile MacKenzie
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 02, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Pamela Marie Cole, Thesis Advisor
  • Mayra Y Bamaca, Thesis Advisor
  • Jose Angel Soto, Thesis Advisor
  • Dawn Paula Witherspoon, Thesis Advisor
  • Latino adolescent
  • language brokering
  • cultural brokering
  • parent-adolescent closeness
  • immigrant
  • parent-child
  • family dynamics
Language brokering is a common practice for Latino youth and given the importance of family for Latinos, the question arises as to how language brokering may affect Latino immigrant children and the quality of their relationship with their parents. Specifically, it is unclear whether feelings around language brokering influence the parent-adolescent relationship or vice versa because previous work has been cross-sectional. In order to answer this question, a series of models were run to examine cross-lagged associations between language brokering attitudes and parent-adolescent closeness, while taking into account language brokering frequency and the possible moderating role of gender. The present study used data from 3 waves of a drug prevention intervention when language brokering attitudes were collected for Latino participants (n = 813, age ranget4 = 11 - 15 years of age, Maget4 = 12.31 SDt4 =.552). Results suggested that gender of the adolescent was a moderator. Specifically, younger males who felt closer to their parents had more positive attitudes toward language brokering, but this relation dissipated as males got older. Language brokering frequency was also found to have a delayed contribution to adolescent language brokering attitudes and parent-adolescent closeness, and more so for males than females. Results are discussed in terms of how age and gender cultural norms contribute to the relation between language brokering and parent-adolescent closeness. Each of these findings is discussed in terms of the existing literature, study limitations, and future directions.