The Relationship Between Trajectories of Family/Cultural Stressors and Depression and Suicidal Ideation Among Substance Using Mexican-American Adults

Jarron M. Saint Onge, Alice Cepeda, Patricia A. Lee King, Avelardo Valdez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We used an intersectional minority stress perspective to examine the association between family/cultural stress and mental health among substance-using Mexican-Americans. Employing a unique longitudinal sample of 239 socioeconomically disadvantaged, non-injecting heroin-using Mexican-Americans from San Antonio, Texas, we examined how culturally relevant stressors are related to depression and suicidal ideation. First, we identified depression and suicidal ideation prevalence rates for this disadvantaged sample. Second, we determined how cultural stress is experienced over time using stress trajectories. Third, we evaluated how family/cultural stressors and stress trajectories are related to depression and suicidal ideation outcomes. Results showed high rates of baseline depression (24 %) and suicidal ideation (30 %). We used latent class growth analysis to identify three primary stress trajectories (stable, high but decreasing, and increasing) over three time points during 1 year. We found that the increasing stressors trajectory was associated with higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation, and that stress trajectories had unique relationships with mental illness. We also showed that baseline stressors, sum stressors, and high but decreasing stressors maintained positive associations with mental illness after controlling for baseline depression. Our results highlight the importance of focusing on within-group, culturally specific stressors and addressing both operant and cumulative stressors in the study of mental health for marginalized populations and suggest the importance of early intervention in minimizing stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume52
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Ethnicity and mental health
  • Family/cultural stress
  • Mexican-Americans
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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