Examining Difference in Immigration Stress, Acculturation Stress and Mental Health Outcomes in Six Hispanic/Latino Nativity and Regional Groups

J Immigr Minor Health. 2019 Feb;21(1):14-20. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0714-9.


Little is known about the specific behavioral health impact of acculturation stressors that affect Hispanic/Latino immigrant sub-groups. These immigration-related stressors and traumatic events may have differential impact on depression depending on country/region of origin. Using a measure of immigration and acculturation stress, the current study sought to determine differences in the impact of stress on six sub-groups of Hispanic immigrants. Data on stress and depression were examined using a large, representative adult immigrant sample (N = 641). Controlling for age, gender and years in the US, factorial analysis of covariance revealed significant differences on total Hispanic Stress Inventory 2 (HSI2) stress appraisal scores based on country/region of origin. Pair wise comparisons between country/region of origin groups revealed that Mexicans had higher levels of stress compared to Cuban or Dominican immigrants. Several patterns of differential stress were also found within sub-domains of the HSI2. Using regression models, HSI2 stress appraisals and their interaction with country of origin proved to not be significant predictors of depression (PHQ9), while gender and age were significant. Differences in HSI2 stress that are based on nativity may be moderated by cultural resilience that ultimately serves a protective role to prevent the onset of depression.

Keywords: Acculturation stress; Depression; Hispanics; Latinos.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Mental Health / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Racism / psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult