Parenting processes and adolescent adjustment in immigrant Latino families: The use of residual centering to address the multicollinearity problem

Family cohesion and parental monitoring promote Latino adolescents' positive adjustment. For Latino immigrant families, these parenting processes tend to be interdependent due to shared roots in cultural values emphasizing family togetherness and parental authority. This covariance poses a significant methodological problem with respect to multicollinearity. The present article uses a novel technique-residual centering-to remove shared variance among family cohesion and parental monitoring constructs and, in turn, to identify how the unique variance of each is associated with Latino adolescent adjustment. Participants include 249 9th and 10th graders in Mexican and Central American immigrant families. We compared findings from structural equation models in which parenting constructs were examined simultaneously with residual-centered models, in which shared variance among parenting constructs was removed for each parenting variable. Findings from residual-centered models revealed that parents' monitoring of youth's daily activities was associated with less alcohol use and fewer youth depressive symptoms, and that parents' monitoring of youth's peer activities outside the home was associated with less marijuana use and more depressive symptoms. Family cohesion was unrelated to Latino youth outcomes in residual-centered models. By isolating specific, “pure” parenting effects, residual centering can clarify the ways in which family cohesion and parental monitoring behaviors matter for Latino adolescents' adjustment.