Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 340–347 | Cite as

Perceived Discrimination and Religiosity as Potential Mediating Factors Between Migration and Depressive Symptoms: A Transnational Study of an Indigenous Mayan Population

  • Hugo Salgado
  • Isa Haviland
  • Marcella Hernandez
  • Diana Lozano
  • Ruby Osoria
  • David Keyes
  • Eastern Kang
  • María Luisa Zúñiga
Original Paper

Abstract

Evidence suggests that in the US perceived discrimination among migrants of Mexican origin is associated with depressive symptoms. Factors that confer resilience, such as religiosity, could serve as a mediating factor in the context of migration stressors. We hypothesized that migration is associated with higher depressive symptoms and that discrimination and religiosity would mediate this relationship in a binational (US and Mexican) sample of indigenous Mexican migrants. We applied path analysis modeling to test our hypotheses with a sample of 650 individuals (n = 583 in Mexico; n = 67 in US). Results indicated that migration experience and current US residence were associated with perceived discrimination, which in turn were associated with a higher risk for depressive symptoms. Among women not living in the US, religiosity was associated with lower perceived discrimination. Discrimination is pervasive among male and female transnational and domestic migrants and religiosity may serve as a protective factor against discrimination for some women.

Keywords

Migration Mental health Discrimination Maya Religiosity Social support 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the community of Tunkás and Tunkaseños in Mexico and the US for their trust, sincerity, and guidance in making this work possible. This research was supported by the Research Program on Migration and Health (Programa de Investigación en Migración y Salud, PIMSA Cycle 2011–2012), the Health Initiative of the Americas, the University of California, the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, México.

Conflict of interest

The authors state no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    WHO. Mental health: strengthening our response; 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/. Accessed Sept 2013.
  2. 2.
    Moussavi S, Chatterji S, Verdes E, Tandon A, Patel V, Ustun B. Depression, chronic diseases, and decrements in health: results from the World Health Surveys. Lancet. 2007;370:851–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berg CJ, Michelson SE, Safren SA. Behavioral aspects of HIV care: adherence, depression, substance use, and HIV-transmission behaviors. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2007;21:181–200.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hemingway H, Marmot M. Psychosocial factors in the actinology and prognosis of coronary heart disease: systematic review of prospective cohort studies. Br Med J. 1999;318:1460–1467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang JL. Rural–urban differences in the prevalence of major depression and associated impairment. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2004;39:19–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hovey JD. Acculturative stress, depression, and suicidal ideation in Mexican immigrants. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2000;6:134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gonzalez-Barrera A, Lopez MH. A demographic portrait of Mexican-Origin Hispanics in the United States. 2013. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/05/01/a-demographic-portrait-of-mexican-origin-hispanics-in-the-united-states. Accessed July 2013.
  8. 8.
    Davis B, Stecklov G, Winters P. Domestic and international migration from rural Mexico: disaggregating the effects of network structure and composition. Popul Stud. 2002;56:291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cornelius WA, Salehyan I. Does border enforcement deter unauthorized immigration? The case of Mexican migration to the United States of America. Regul Gov. 2007;1:139–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pérez DJ, Fortuna L, Alegria M. Prevalence and correlates of everyday discrimination among US Latinos. J Commun Psychol. 2008;36:421–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Alegria M, Canino G, Shrout PE, Woo M, Duan N, Vila D, Torres M, Chen C, Meng X. Prevalence of mental illness in immigrant and non-immigrant U.S. Latino Groups. Am J Psychiatry. 2008;165:359–69.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Noh S, Beiser M, Kaspar V, Hou F, Rummens J. Perceived racial discrimination, depression, and coping: a study of Southeast Asian refugees in Canada. J Health Soc Behav. 1999;40:193–207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chae DH, Takeuchi DT, Barbeau EM, Bennett GG, Lindsey J, Krieger N. Unfair treatment, racial/ethnic discrimination, ethnic identification, and smoking among Asian Americans in the National Latino and Asian American Study. Am J Public Health. 2008;98:485.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ornelas IJ, Eng E, Perreira KM. Perceived barriers to opportunity and their relation to substance use among Latino immigrant men. J Behav Med. 2011;34:182–91.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Paradies Y. A systematic review of empirical research on self-reported racism and health. Int J Epidemiol. 2006;35:888–901.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Montes JF. Perceived discrimination among indigenous and non-indigenous Mexican-Americans living in the United States. Los Angeles: Alliant International University; 2010.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Castellanos A, Gomez J, Pineda F. Racist discourse in Mexico. In: Van Dijk TA, editor. Racism and discourse in Latin America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Press; 2009. p. 217–57.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bjarnason D. Concept analysis of religiosity. Home Health Care Manag Pract. 2007;19:350–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cottone J, Drucker P, Javier RA. Predictors of moral reasoning: components of executive functioning and aspects of religiosity. J Sci Study Relig. 2007;46:37–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chamberlain K, Zika S. Religiosity, meaning in life, and psychological well-being. In: Schumaker JF, editor. Religion and Mental Health. New York: Oxford University Press; 1992. p. 138–48.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brittian AS, O’Donnell M, Knight GP, Carlo G, Umaña-Taylor AJ, Roosa MW. Associations between adolescents’ perceived discrimination and prosocial tendencies: the mediating role of Mexican American values. J Youth Adolesc. 2013;42:328–41.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Finch BK, Vega WA. Acculturation stress, social support, and self-rated health among Latinos in California. J Immigr Health. 2003;5:109–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bierman A. Does religion buffer the effects of discrimination on mental health? Differing effects by race. J Sci Study Relig. 2006;45:551–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nevins J. In: Cornelius WA, Fitzgerald D, Hernández-Díaz J, Borger S (eds) Migration from the Mexican Mixteca: transnational Community in Oax. J Latin Am Stud 2011;43:407–411.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cornelius W, Fitzgerald D, Hernández-Díaz J, Borger S, Fisher P, McBeath J, et al. Migration from the Mexican Mixteca: a transnational community in Oaxaca and California. La Jolla: Lynne Rienner Publishers for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, San diego; 2009.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Li X, Stanton B, Fang X, Lin D. Social stigma and mental health among rural-to-urban migrants in China: a conceptual framework and future research needs. World Health Popul. 2006;8:14–31.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Diaz RM, Ayala G, Bein E, Henne J, Marin BV. The impact of homophobia, poverty, and racism on the mental health of gay and bisexual Latino men: findings from 3 US cities. Am J Public Health. 2001;91:927.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Parker G, Brotchie H. Gender differences in depression. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2010;22:429–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dukes RL, Stein JA, Zane JI. Gender differences in the relative impact of physical and relational bullying on adolescent injury and weapon carrying. J Sch Psychol. 2010;48:511–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Radloff LS. the Ces-D scale. Appl Psychol Meas. 1977;1:385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bojorquez Chapela I, Salgado de Snyder N. Características psicométricas de la Escala Center for Epidemiological Studies-depression (CES-D), versiones de 20 y 10 reactivos, en mujeres de una zona rural Mexicana. Salud mental 2009; 32:299–307.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kohout FJ, Berkman LF, Evans DA, Cornoni-Huntley J. Two shorter forms of the CES-D depression symptoms index. J Aging Health. 1993;5:179–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Inglis T. Catholic identity in contemporary Ireland: belief and belonging to tradition. J Contemp Rel. 2010;22:205–20.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Land KC. Principles of path analysis. In: Borgatta EF, editor. Sociological methodology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1969. p. 3–37.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ortiz V, Telles E. Racial identity and racial treatment of Mexican Americans. Race Soc Probl. 2012;4:41–56.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cornelius WA, Fitzgerald D. Mayan journeys: US-bound migration from a new sending community. Center for Comparative Immigration; 2007.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Nicolaidis C, Perez M, Mejia A, Alvarado A, Celaya-Alston R, Galian H, Hilde A. Guardarse Las Cosas Adentro (keeping things inside): Latina violence survivors’ perceptions of depression. J Gen Intern Med. 2011;26:1131–37.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cochran SV, Rabinowitz FE. Gender-sensitive recommendations for assessment and treatment of depression in men. Prof Psychol Res Pract. 2003;34:132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Salgado de Snyder NV. Family life across the border: Mexican wives left behind. Hisp J Behav Sci. 1993;15:391–400.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Salgado
    • 1
  • Isa Haviland
    • 2
  • Marcella Hernandez
    • 2
  • Diana Lozano
    • 2
  • Ruby Osoria
    • 2
  • David Keyes
    • 3
  • Eastern Kang
    • 1
  • María Luisa Zúñiga
    • 4
  1. 1.Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Global Health)San Diego State/University of California, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Mexican Migration Field Research ProgramUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.School of Social WorkSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations