248896 Examining Social Determinants of Psychological Distress among a Sample of U.S. and Foreign-Born Latinas: Findings from the NLAAS

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kristine Molina, MS , Psychology and Women's Studies Departments, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Carmela Alcantara, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development & Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Background: This study examines the social determinants of psychological distress among Latinas, and the extent to which these factors similarly or differentially impact the mental health of US-born and foreign-born Latinas. Method: Data for this study were from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). Secondary data analyses were conducted using the Latina subsample (N= 1, 427). We built four linear regression models to examine predictors of psychological distress during the past month from socioeconomic, sociocultural, contextual, and social resources measures. Results: The final multivariable linear regression model indicated that after adjusting for covariates, only the socioeconomic indices (perceiving not having enough money to meet needs; being out of the labor force) and sociocultural factors (ethnic discrimination, unfair treatment, family cultural conflict, and family burden) were associated with increased levels of psychological distress in the full sample. Adjusted multivariable analyses stratified by nativity showed that among U.S.-born Latinas, socioeconomic indices (being in the $35,000-$74,999 bracket; being in debt; perceiving not having enough money to meet needs) and sociocultural factors (unfair treatment, family burden) were associated with increased psychological distress. Furthermore, among foreign-born Latinas, socioeconomic indices (perceiving not having enough money to meet needs, having only a high school degree) and sociocultural factors (ethnic discrimination, unfair treatment, family cultural conflict) were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Conclusion: Our results contribute to a greater understanding of the “Latino health paradox” in two ways. First, our results highlight the importance of attending to the nativity context (i.e., US-born-or foreign-born status) when examining correlates of psychiatric morbidity among Latinas residing in the U.S. Second, our results show the need to consider measures across multiple domains to understand the mechanisms contributing to the differential health profiles of foreign-born and U.S.-born Latina women.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To identify specific risk and protective factors associated with psychological distress among U.S.-born and foreign-born Latina adults in the U.S.

Keywords: Latino Caucus, Latino Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Both authors have experience with Latino health research, and both helped conceptualize the research. The corresponding author conducted all analyses.
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.