Acculturation, discrimination, and depression among unauthorized Latinos/as in the United States

Author(s): Cory L. COBB ; Dong XIE ; Alan MECA ; Seth J. SCHWARTZ


Objectives: In the present study we sought to examine psychosocial factors among undocumented Latinos/as acculturating to and residing in the United States.

Method: A community sample of 122 self-reported undocumented Latino/a immigrants was asked to complete questionnaires measuring components of acculturation (i.e., national and ethnic identity, U.S. heritage-cultural knowledge, English and Spanish competency), everyday discrimination (ED), and depressive symptoms.

Results: Results indicated that, among acculturation dimensions, only ethnic identity was significantly related to increased ED whereas ED was associated with increased depression. Moreover, experiences of ED mediated the relationship between ethnic identity and depression.

Conclusions: Results may indicate ethnic identity as a risk factor for this group through experiences of discrimination. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in terms of advancing theory and from a multicultural counseling perspective, respectively.

Tags: United States, Latin America, Latinos, Undocumented migrants, Discrimination, Depression, Acculturation

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