Stress, Place, and Allostatic Load Among Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers in Oregon

Heather H. McClure*, J. Josh Snodgrass, Charles R. Martinez, Erica C. Squires, Roberto A. Jiménez, Laura E. Isiordia, J. Mark Eddy, Thomas W. McDade, Jeon Small

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cumulative exposure to chronic stressors has been shown to contribute to immigrants’ deteriorating health with more time in US residence. Few studies, however, have examined links among common psychosocial stressors for immigrants (e.g., acculturation-related) and contexts of immigrant settlement for physical health. The study investigated relationships among social stressors, stress buffers (e.g., family support), and allostatic load (AL)—a summary measure of physiological “wear and tear”—among 126 adult Mexican immigrant farm workers. Analyses examined social contributors to AL in two locales: (1) White, English-speaking majority sites, and (2) a Mexican immigrant enclave. Our six-point AL scale incorporated immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic measures. Among men and women, older age predicted higher AL. Among women, lower family support related to higher AL in White majority communities only. Findings suggest that Latino immigrants’ cumulative experiences in the US significantly compromise their health, with important differences by community context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1518-1525
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

Keywords

  • Allostatic load
  • Ethnic enclave
  • Farm worker
  • Health
  • Mexican immigrants
  • Place
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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