Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Supportive Environments and Immigration in Childhood: Does It Have a Long Reach into Adulthood for Immigrants from Latin America? (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

429P (see Poster Gallery) Supportive Environments and Immigration in Childhood: Does It Have a Long Reach into Adulthood for Immigrants from Latin America?

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Andrea Perez Portillo, LCSW, PhD Student, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: This project examines how social support during childhood and adolescence is associated with depression and self-rated health for Latin American immigrants in the U.S. We pay particular attention to childhood immigrants in understanding the interplay between early social support and adult health outcomes. Adverse childhood and adolescent experiences such as domestic violence, health problems, neglect and abuse can have a long reach into adulthood physical and mental health outcomes. Additionally, established literature finds that social support during the formative years of childhood and adolescence can lead to better adult health outcomes. Social support and positive relationships during critical years such as childhood and adolescence may lower the risk for adverse physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. The present study builds on prior studies of immigrants to examine how early supportive childhood interactions and immigrating during childhood may be linked to positive health outcomes in adulthood.

Methods: Data came from the 2012-2013 iteration of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III), an extensive, nationally representative surveys of noninstitutionalized U.S. adults ages 18 or older sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Participants included households and randomly selected according to a multistage probability sample design. A total of 3,441 immigrant respondents born in Latin America were assessed for meeting DSM-5 criteria for depression, assessed for childhood support, childhood trauma and provided scores for self-reported health. Four research questions were analyzed to identify potential relationships between health and depression outcomes and 1) emotional support in childhood,2) immigration classification (child vs adult migrant), 3) moderation effects between childhood environments and adult social supports and 4) differences by countries.

Results: Multivariable binomial logistic regression analyses indicated that emotionally supportive childhoods and interpersonal support in adulthood lowered the odds for lifetime major depressive disorder in some health models. These relationships differed between childhood arrival and adult arrival immigration samples and across countries and regions. Childhood arrival status was also consistently associated with decreased odds of depression. Increased childhood support was statistically significant in contributing to decreased depression outcomes and varied in its relationship to self-reported health. Across models, interpersonal support in childhood and adulthood were consistently associated with decreased odds of meeting criteria for depression, however findings differed for self-reported health.

Conclusions and Implications: This study concludes that continued and more nuanced strengths-based investigations are warranted that examine the essential social resources across lifespans and their role in mitigating adverse health outcomes among diverse immigrants. Overall, the study findings point to the need for increased attention to sources of support and resilience for immigrants from Latin America. Specifically, findings from this study highlight the role social support in critical developmental periods has on immigrant health and depression outcomes, wherein socially supportive environments are positively associated with positive health outcomes. In line with previous research, findings from this study demonstrate the need for continued and more current investigations that look at essential social resources across the lifespan and their role in mitigating adverse outcomes.