Cultural and Contextual Influences on Parenting in Mexican American Families


  • This article was edited by Velma McBride Murry.

School of Health Management and Policy, P.O. Box 874506, Tempe, AZ 85287-4506 (


Family stress theory can explain associations between contextual stressors and parenting. The theory, however, has not been tested among Mexican Americans or expanded to include cultural-contextual risks. This study examined associations between neighborhood, economic, and acculturative stressors and parenting behaviors in a sample of 570 two-parent Mexican American families. Results support the negative impact of economic stress on parenting through parental depressive symptoms. Neighborhood stress influenced fathers’ depressive symptoms and parenting, but not mothers’. The effects of acculturative stress were inconsistent. Results suggest that contextual stressors common to Mexican American families impact parenting behaviors through parental depression.