248224 Binational determinants of immigrant mental health: Results from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS)

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:18 PM

Jacqueline Torres, MPH, MA , School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Steven P. Wallace, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: Latino immigrant health research focuses primarily on determinants of health status pertaining to the host country context (e.g. acculturation) and little on country-of-origin social, cultural and political context. This study explores the relationship of country-of-origin and migration context to the health of Latino immigrants to the US. Methods: This study uses data on Latino immigrant respondents (n=1630) to the National Latino and Asian American Study, a nationally representative household survey. The analysis uses a series of nested Ordinary Least Squares regression models to assess measures of migration context, country-of-origin social status, political violence exposure and transnational social networks on psychological distress. Measures of socio-economic status, acculturative stress and interaction terms were also explored. Results: Regression models show that migration context variables—having to migrate versus wanting to migrate, and planned migration versus unplanned migration, are statistically significant predictors of distress, controlling for other covariates. Having to migrate was associated with an increase of up to one point on the Kessler-10 distress scale (range: 10-50) compared with wanting to migrate (p<0.01). Some binational measures varied by gender: sending remittances was associated with a decrease of nearly 2 points on the distress scale for women only (p<0.01). Social network conflict, potentially related to transnational social networks, was significant in predicting distress for both men and women (p<0.01). Discussion: The composition of multiple healthy communities—in both sending and receiving country contexts, and across the two—is essential to better understanding of Latino immigrant mental health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the potential importance of considering binational determinants of immigrant health in health data collection and analysis.

Keywords: Immigration, Latino Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author as a graduate student in public health at the University of California, Los Angeles
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.