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Examining Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Coping and Stress Within an Environmental Riskscape

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Abstract

Existing research on racial/ethnic differences in stress and coping is limited by small samples, single-item measures, and lack of inclusion of Mexican Americans. We address these gaps by analyzing data from the Texas City Stress and Health Study, a cross-sectional sample of Black (N = 257), White (N = 304), US-born (N = 689), and foreign-born (N = 749) Mexican Americans residing in proximity to a petrochemical complex. We compared active and avoidant coping by race/ethnicity and explored multivariable associations between coping and perceived stress. Black and foreign-born Mexican American respondents had the highest stressor exposure yet displayed different patterns of coping and perceived stress patterns. Active coping may be particularly effective for African Americans but may not offset extreme stress disparities. For Mexican Americans, the lack of association between coping and stress underscores the need for more work focused on the culturally diverse coping experiences.

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Funding

This work was supported by Grant P50 CA10563 from the National Cancer Institute, which funded the UTMB Center for Population Health and Health Disparities as well as the Texas City Stress and Health Study.

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Correspondence to Christine A. Mair.

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Mair, C.A., Peek, M.K., Slatcher, R.B. et al. Examining Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Coping and Stress Within an Environmental Riskscape. J Immigrant Minority Health 25, 1033–1042 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-023-01458-5

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