Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2023


Within the next decade, Latino immigrants will constitute the largest middle-aged and older immigrant group living in the U.S. This cross-sectional study investigated traumatic stressors, acculturative stress and perceived structural injustices and their associations with mental health symptoms. This study also examined the linkages between cultural factors, social support, and coping strategies and mental health outcomes. Eighty Latino/Hispanic immigrants who were 45 years of age or older completed a series of questionnaires and optional open-ended questions. A greater exposure to traumatic events, higher acculturative stress, and perceived injustices were associated with greater psychological distress and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Higher levels of familismo were found to be linked with lower symptoms of psychological distress and PTSD symptoms. Qualitative data supports the connection between stressors and mental health and the potential for community support to foster resilience and empowerment. These findings suggest values related to familismo and God may be important protective factors for researchers, clinicians, and policy makers to consider in the development of effective and culturally appropriate interventions.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Steven Verney

Second Committee Member

Gabriel Sanchez

Third Committee Member

Kamilla Venner

Fourth Committee Member

Jessica Goodkind

Fifth Committee Member

Luz Garcini




Social determinants of mental health, Latinos, Hispanics, immigrants, trauma, protective factors, cultural factors

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