216131 An Exploratory Path Analysis of the Process from Social Marginality to Self-Rated Physical Health among a Nationally Representative Sample of Latino Adults

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Kristine Molina, MS , Psychology and Women's Studies Departments, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Margarita Alegria, PhD , Psychiatry--Center for Multicultural MH Research, Harvard Medical School, Somerville, MA
Ramaswami Mahalingam, PhD , Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: There is a dearth of research that empirically examines how particular outcomes (e.g., health) develop as part of a process. This study examines the process by which social marginality comes to affect the self-rated physical health of Latinos through psychological distress, while also considering the mediating role of individual and contextual factors.

Method: Data are from the National Latino and Asian American Study, a nationally stratified area probability psychiatric epidemiologic survey of Latino and Asian adults. Analyses were conducted on the Latino subsample (N = 2, 554). Using path analysis, we examined the complex interrelationships between social marginality constructs (perceived discrimination & perceived social standing in the U.S.), individual difference (ethnic identity) and contextual (family support & family cohesion) factors, and health outcomes (psychological distress & self-rated physical health) among the overall sample in order to understand how multiple pathway risk and protective factors explain self-rated physical health.

Results: Fit indices from the path analysis results indicated that the structural model adequately fit the data [χ2(18, 2554) = 65.11; RMSEA= .032; CFI = .959; TLI = .696; 90% C.I. = .024, .041; p = < .001]. Moreover, the total effect for the model was statistically significant. More specifically, the indirect path from perceived discrimination to self-rated physical health was significant, such that higher levels of perceived discrimination were related to a lower perceived social standing in the U.S. (b = -.09, p< .01), which in turn related to higher levels of psychological distress (b = -.09, p < .001), which then was related to lower self-rated physical health (b = -.22, p < .001). Further, we found that family cohesion partially mediated the relation between discrimination and psychological distress (b = .01, p< .05).

Conclusion: By empirically testing an integrated model that considers both risk and protective factors, we can better understand specific mechanisms that link to mental and self-rated physical health, and perhaps strategies for coping with stressors related to having a marginalized status in the U.S.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To identity specific mechanisms that link to mental and physical health outcomes among Latina/o adults.

Keywords: Latino Mental Health, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conceptualized the research and conducted all analyses; I also have experience in Latino health research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.