Thesis

Depressive symptomatology and acculturative stress among Latinos

Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and developed countries worldwide. In the United States, Latinos constitute the largest ethnic minority group. The increase in number of Latino immigrants and U. S born Latinos poses immense challenges for governmental, medical, and nonprofit institutions. These challenges are apparent in the efforts to address the mental health needs of current and future Latino populations. For instance, the literature shows that second or later generations of immigrants have a higher prevalence of mental disorders compared to first generation immigrants. The current study sought to identify the relationship between acculturation and depressive symptomatology using acculturative stress as a moderator variable in a sample of Latino participants from various settings. The current study examined two groups that varied in the level of acculturation High Hispanic-Low Anglo participants and High Hispanic-High Anglo participants. It was hypothesized that acculturative stress would be a moderator between acculturation and depression symptoms. It was predicted that High Hispanic-Low Anglo, high stressed individuals would show higher depressive symptom levels compared to High Hispanic-High Anglo, low stressed individuals. Moderation analysis showed that acculturative stress did not significantly moderate the relationship between acculturation level and depressive symptoms(~= -.174, p = .315). Keywords: Depression, Acculturative stress, Acculturation, Latinos.

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