Ethnic microaggressions, traumatic stress symptoms, and Latino depression: A moderated mediational model

J Couns Psychol. 2015 Jul;62(3):393-401. doi: 10.1037/cou0000077. Epub 2015 Apr 13.


Although ethnic microaggressions have received increased empirical attention in recent years, there remains a paucity of research regarding how these subtle covert forms of discrimination contribute to Latino mental health. The present study examined the role of traumatic stress symptoms underlying the relationship between ethnic microaggressions and depression. Further, ethnic identity and general self-efficacy were tested as moderators between the ethnic microaggressions and traumatic stress link. Among a sample of 113 Latino adults, moderated mediational analyses revealed statistically significant conditional indirect effects in which traumatic stress symptoms mediated the relationship between ethnic microaggressions and depression while ethnic identity and self-efficacy functioned as moderators. The major findings suggested that the indirect effects were the most robust within low ethnic identity and low self-efficacy. The findings are discussed within a stress and coping framework that highlight the internal resources and stress responses associated with experiencing ethnic microaggressions.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Negotiating / methods
  • Negotiating / psychology*
  • Prejudice / ethnology
  • Prejudice / psychology
  • Self Efficacy
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Young Adult