Friday, January 17, 2020: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Treasury, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Amy L Ai, PhD, Florida State University
Bruce Thyer, PhD, LCSW, BCBA-D, Florida State University
As the largest ethnic minority group in the United States (U.S.), Latinos contitute 17.8% of the total population and account for over half of the nation's population growth (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). This growth is especially observed in the two largest subgroups (Mexicans, 63%, and Puerto Ricans, 9.3%). By the mid-21st century Latina/o Americans are expected to comprise an estimated one-fourth of the U.S. population. Most Latinos are foreign-born with diverse socio-economic backgrounds and acculturation processes. They bring unique cultural legacies irrespective of nativity. To design and implement culturally sensitive services, it is imperative to examine Latino American health and mental health attributes at multiple levels in relation to their unique cultural traditions. This symposium presents four theory-driven studies based on data from two nationally representative datasets: National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study. Study I examined the long-term impact of childhood mistreatment on current diagnosis of substance use disorders and underlying mechanisms in Latino-Americans nationally built on the Self-medication Hypothesis. We also investigated whether there were subgroup differences in this model between U.S.-born and immigrant subgroup Latinos with or without contextual and acculturation-related factors (e.g., discrimination) to test the Omitted-variable Bias assumption. Study II explored the roles of family cohesiveness and negative interactions, alongside other cultural strength factors, in diagnoses of three psychiatric disorders (major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, and suicidal ideation, based on family systems theory that can help understanding of the interplay between Latino culture and mental health. Gender differences were assumed based on different roles of Latinas and Latinos in their collectivist cultural tradition in relation to challenges that they faced in the individualistic U.S. society. Study III investigated differential associations of collective strength factors with self-rated mental and physical health in three major Latino subgroups (Cubans, Mexicans, and Puerto Rican). Social Identity Theory and leaders in cultural psychology shed light on the need to emphasize cultural strengths in serving primarily collectivist racial and ethnic minority communities (Sue & Sue, 2013). Given the cultural diversity within the Latino population and ongoing disparities faced by many Latinos, these factors may play a salient role in their well-being at a group level, but few studies on Latinos have paid attention to these potential contributors to their over all health. Study IV utilized Fragile Families data to evaluate the role of social determinants of health in the physical health and emotional well-being of adolescent Latino youth. Social determinants of health (SDOH) account for almost half of population-level health. Latino youth might be at particular risk of economic and psychosocial factors (e.g., discrimination) that can impair physical and mental health status. Yet, limited literature exists to understand the role of SDOH for Latino adolescents. These presentations will integrate evidence from a multi-level and multidimensional perspective in order to promote more culturally sensitive assessment of and intervention with the physical and behavioral health of all Latino populations in the U.S. among social workers.
* noted as presenting author
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