Background: The research literature provides strong evidence of the adverse impact of cumulative stress on individual and family life. The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the construct validity of a cumulative measure of lifetime adversities and (b) assess the moderating effects of several cultural risk (acculturation stress, perceived discrimination) and protective factors (social support, ethnic identity) on the relationship between cumulative lifetime adversities and family cohesion among U.S. Latinx immigrants. Method: Data came from a cross-sectional secondary dataset, called the HCHS – SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study. The sample (N = 3,632) was identified using stratified random probability sampling in four of the largest Latinx metropolitan areas: the Bronx, San Diego, Chicago, and Miami. Six Latinx subgroups were included in this study: Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Mexicans, Dominicans, South Americans, and Central Americans. Results: Results from a confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor model of cumulative lifetime adversities, including childhood trauma, current stress, and chronic stress. Invariance testing suggested that the measure functioned equivalently across the six Latinx subgroups. Results from a latent moderation analysis suggested that social support buffered the association between cumulative lifetime adversities and family cohesion; whereas discrimination exacerbated the association between cumulative lifetime adversities and family cohesion. Unexpectedly, acculturation stress buffered the association between cumulative lifetime adversities and family cohesion. Several potential explanations are discussed. Conclusions: Results can be used to inform the development of mental health interventions and prevention programs tailored to the specific needs of Latinx immigrant populations exposed to adversity and cultural stressors. Implications for the immigrant paradox are also discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2019. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Elizabeth Wieling. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 97 pages.
Lifetime Adversities, Risk, Resilience and Family Cohesion Among a National Sample of Latinx Immigrants Living in the U.S..
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