Effects of language brokering on children of Latino immigrants

Veronica Mercado, Pace University


This study examined the relationship between language brokering and its effects on the level of stress of the brokers. Specifically, the relationships between language brokering, parentification, stress, and gender were explored. Gender differences in the strength of this relationship were also examined. The following was expected: high levels of brokering would correlate positively with high levels of parentification; high levels of brokering would correlate positively with high levels of stress; high levels of parentification would correlate with high levels of stress; and that both brokering and parentification were gender specific, with female subjects reporting higher levels. The participants were 90 Latino undergrad students attending universities in the New York City area. The students completed several self-report measures including a parentification questionnaire, a language-brokering questionnaire, and stress scales. Results showed that high levels of language brokering were positively correlated with high levels of parentification. Although no gender differences were found for levels of language brokering, females reported higher levels of parentification. Those who reported high levels of brokering did not report high levels of stress. However, those who reported high levels of parentification reported high levels of stress. The results of the present study emphasized the need for understanding the ramifications and long-term consequences of language brokering, particularly for the Latino community. While brokering itself may not lead to a heightened degree of stress, cultural nuances within the Latino community serve to further perpetuate the pressures associated with brokering. As such, once a pattern of brokering has been established and identified, interventions must be developed to decrease the occurrence of long term impairment of individual and family functioning.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Mercado, Veronica, "Effects of language brokering on children of Latino immigrants" (2003). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3100074.



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