Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Rick A. Cruz


Rick A. Cruz


Melanie Domenech Rodríguez


Amy Odum


Background: Among Latinx youth residing in the United States (U.S), the adoption of U.S cultural behaviors, values, and identity has been proposed to increase risk for negative outcomes, such as substance use. Research also suggests that the maintenance of Latinx cultural behaviors, values, and identity may be protective. Although there is an established link between impulsivity and substance use outcomes, very little research has sought to explore factors that influence impulsivity among Latinx groups. Furthermore, behavioral tasks have made substantial contributions as measures of impulsivity, yet few studies have examined cultural identity domains in relation to these behavioral tasks.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between cultural domains (i.e., behaviors, values, and identifications) of cultural identity and performance on behavior-based measures of impulsivity among a population of Latinx adolescents and emerging adults.

Methods: Latinx adolescents (N = 92) between the ages of 13-18 and Latinx emerging adults (N = 278) between the ages of 18 and 25 were recruited for the present study. It was hypothesized that psychological domains of cultural identity, including ethnic identity, language use, self-construal, and familism values would be associated with lower preference for smaller more immediate rewards on the MCQ, higher preference for the less-risky reward on the PDQ, and increased levels of inhibitory control on the Flanker task. It was also hypothesized that Latinx participants who receive the family obligation/interdependent self-construal prime would have reduced rates of delay discounting and increased rates of probability discounting.

Results: The current study found increased levels of comfort related to one’s bicultural identity to be associated with increased inhibitory control on the Flanker task for adolescents, but lower rates of probability discounting (i.e., preference for riskier option) on the PDQ for young adults. Spanish language use was found to be significantly associated with lower rates of delay discounting (i.e., preference for larger delayed rewards) on the MCQ and this association was unique to young adults. No significant effect as a result of cultural prime condition was observed.



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