The Border Community and Immigration Stress Scale: A Preliminary Examination of a Community Responsive Measure in Two Southwest Samples

Abstract

Understanding contemporary socio-cultural stressors may assist educational, clinical and policy-level health promotion efforts. This study presents descriptive findings on a new measure, the border community and immigration stress scale. The data were from two community surveys as part of community based participatory projects conducted in the Southwestern US border region. This scale includes stressful experiences reflected in extant measures, with new items reflecting heightened local migration pressures and health care barriers. Stressors representing each main domain, including novel ones, were reported with frequency and at high intensity in the predominantly Mexican-descent samples. Total stress was also significantly associated with mental and physical health indicators. The study suggests particularly high health burdens tied to the experience of stressors in the US border region. Further, many of the stressors are also likely relevant for other communities within developed nations also experiencing high levels of migration.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH (P60MD000155) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC-USDHS (R21OH008747). We are grateful to all our partners, interviewers, community participants and the late Joel Meister, who provided instrumental leadership to these projects.

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Correspondence to Scott C. Carvajal.

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Carvajal, S.C., Rosales, C., Rubio-Goldsmith, R. et al. The Border Community and Immigration Stress Scale: A Preliminary Examination of a Community Responsive Measure in Two Southwest Samples. J Immigrant Minority Health 15, 427–436 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-012-9600-z

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Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Stress
  • Health
  • Depression
  • Latinos/Latinas