Perceived Discrimination and Religiosity as Potential Mediating Factors Between Migration and Depressive Symptoms: A Transnational Study of an Indigenous Mayan Population
- 406 Downloads
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.
KeywordsMigration Mental health Discrimination Maya Religiosity Social support
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.
- 1.WHO. Mental health: strengthening our response; 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/. Accessed Sept 2013.
- 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.
- 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.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
- 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
- 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.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
- 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
- 33.Inglis T. Catholic identity in contemporary Ireland: belief and belonging to tradition. J Contemp Rel. 2010;22:205–20.Google Scholar
- 34.Land KC. Principles of path analysis. In: Borgatta EF, editor. Sociological methodology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1969. p. 3–37.Google Scholar
- 35.Ortiz V, Telles E. Racial identity and racial treatment of Mexican Americans. Race Soc Probl. 2012;4:41–56.Google Scholar
- 36.Cornelius WA, Fitzgerald D. Mayan journeys: US-bound migration from a new sending community. Center for Comparative Immigration; 2007.Google Scholar
- 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
- 39.Salgado de Snyder NV. Family life across the border: Mexican wives left behind. Hisp J Behav Sci. 1993;15:391–400.Google Scholar