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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1518–1525 | Cite as

Stress, Place, and Allostatic Load Among Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers in Oregon

  • Heather H. McClure
  • J. Josh Snodgrass
  • Charles R. MartinezJr.
  • Erica C. Squires
  • Roberto A. Jiménez
  • Laura E. Isiordia
  • J. Mark Eddy
  • Thomas W. McDade
  • Jeon Small
Original Paper

Abstract

Cumulative exposure to chronic stressors has been shown to contribute to immigrants’ deteriorating health with more time in US residence. Few studies, however, have examined links among common psychosocial stressors for immigrants (e.g., acculturation-related) and contexts of immigrant settlement for physical health. The study investigated relationships among social stressors, stress buffers (e.g., family support), and allostatic load (AL)—a summary measure of physiological “wear and tear”—among 126 adult Mexican immigrant farm workers. Analyses examined social contributors to AL in two locales: (1) White, English-speaking majority sites, and (2) a Mexican immigrant enclave. Our six-point AL scale incorporated immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic measures. Among men and women, older age predicted higher AL. Among women, lower family support related to higher AL in White majority communities only. Findings suggest that Latino immigrants’ cumulative experiences in the US significantly compromise their health, with important differences by community context.

Keywords

Allostatic load Health Stress Mexican immigrants Place Farm worker Ethnic enclave 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank study assessors and participants, Felicia Madimenos for biomarker training assistance, and Lynn Stephen and Frances White for discussions of the project. Support for this project was provided by Grant Nos. R01 DA017937 and R01 DA01965 (Charles R. Martinez, Jr., Principal Investigator) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, US PHS. Support also was provided by the University of Oregon’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS). We also appreciate the support of the Oregon Social Learning Center Scientists’ Council, Northwestern University, and the University of Oregon (UO), including the UO chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather H. McClure
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Josh Snodgrass
    • 2
  • Charles R. MartinezJr.
    • 1
  • Erica C. Squires
    • 2
  • Roberto A. Jiménez
    • 3
  • Laura E. Isiordia
    • 4
  • J. Mark Eddy
    • 5
  • Thomas W. McDade
    • 6
  • Jeon Small
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Equity Promotion, College of Education6215 University of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.Farmworker Housing Development CorporationWoodburnUSA
  4. 4.Capaces Leadership InstituteWoodburnUSA
  5. 5.Partners for Our Children, School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Department of Anthropology and Institute for Policy ResearchNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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