Psychology ETDs

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Latinos currently account for 16% of the total U.S. population and are projected to account for 25% by 2050. Despite the growth in population, Latinos continue to experience discrimination based on their ethnicity. Prior research has found that ethnic discrimination is associated with adverse effects on mental health, including increased risk of depression. The present study investigated the relationship between perceived ethnic discrimination and past year depression among U.S.-born and foreign-born Latinos using data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS). It also examined how ethnic identity and family support mediated the relationship between ethnic discrimination and depression. Perceived ethnic discrimination was associated with an increased risk of depression for U.S.-born Latinos, but not for foreign-born Latinos. For U.S.-born Latinos, family support partially mediated the relationship between ethnic discrimination and depression. Although for foreign-born Latinos family support was inversely related to depression, mediation was not observed. However, exploratory analyses suggested that family support moderated this relationship. An effect of ethnic identity on depression was not detected in either subsample. These findings suggest that perceived ethnic discrimination contributes to Latino mental health in a complex manner that varies as a function of nativity. Significant clinical and public health implications are discussed.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Verney, Steven P.

Second Committee Member

Venner, Kamilla

Third Committee Member

Cacari-Stone, Lisa

Fourth Committee Member

Sanchez, Gabriel R.




depression, clinical psychology, Latino mental health, Latinos, Hispanics

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