Examining nervios among immigrant male farmworkers in the MICASA Study: sociodemographics, housing conditions and psychosocial factors

J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Feb;17(1):198-207. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9859-8.


Nervios is a culturally defined condition of psychological stress with important implications for Latino health. Using epidemiological research methods, we examined the prevalence of nervios and associated risk factors, including drug and alcohol use, acculturation, and housing conditions in a population-based study of farm worker families in Mendota, CA (the MICASA Study). A household enumeration procedure was used for sampling, and 843 individuals were interviewed in 2006-2007. In this analysis, we present data on 422 men, 381 accompanied (family) males and 41 unaccompanied males. The prevalence of nervios was 22%, with no difference in prevalence by household status. Low family incomes, drug use, medium/high acculturation, and poor housing conditions were associated with increased odds of nervios. Self-reported poor/fair health, depressive symptoms, and high perceived stress were also associated with nervios. Since nervios has been shown to be a clinical indicator of psychiatric vulnerability among Latinos, this analysis furthers public health goals of reducing health disparities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Farmers / psychology*
  • Health Status
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology