Category: Cultural Diversity / Vulnerable Populations
Latinos/as are the fastest growing demographic in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015). As they encounter US society, Latino/as may experience acculturative stress, which is is the pressure to adapt to the majority culture that isn’t one’s own, or the stress that comes from the process of acculturation (Berry, 1997; Torres, 2010). Moreover, empirical evidence suggests that Latinos/as in the US report high rates of depression symptoms (Wassertheil-Smoller et al 2014). Acculturative stress has been strongly associated with depression (Driscoll & Torres, 2013) and research suggests that Latino/as may experience acculturative stress differently depending on their generational status (i.e., how recently they or their parents immigrated to the U.S). In this study, we sought to add to this field of research by examining the association between acculturative stress and depression among a large sample of first generation Latino/as. We utilized secondary data from the National Latino Asian Study (NLAAS), which collected data from both Latino and Asian American populations. The NLAAS sought to better understand the intra and inter group ethnic and racial differences linked to psychiatric disorders and service use. For this study, we utilized participants who were first generation Latino/immigrants (N=1630). It was found that acculturative stress significantly predicted depression symptoms (β=.20, p2=0.05). We also conducted analyses with a subset of the sample that reported at least one symptom of depression (N=349). Results indicated that acculturative stress did not predict severity of depression symptoms among the subsample with at least some depression. Differences in findings suggest that first generation Latino/a immigrants with high levels of acculturative stress may be at-risk of experiencing depression symptoms. However, once depression symptoms are reported, acculturative stress may not be as influential in determining depression severity (Hovey, 2000).
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina