Associations between Cultural Stressors, Cultural Values, and Latina/o College Students’ Mental Health
Latina/o college students experience cultural stressors that negatively impact their mental health, which places them at risk for academic problems. We explored whether cultural values buffer the negative effect of cultural stressors on mental health symptoms in a sample of 198 Latina/o college students (70 % female; 43 % first generation college students). Bivariate results revealed significant positive associations between cultural stressors (i.e., acculturative stress, discrimination) and mental health symptoms (i.e., anxiety, depressive, psychological stress), and negative associations between cultural values of familismo, respeto, and religiosity and mental health symptoms. Several cultural values moderated the influence of cultural stressors on mental health symptoms. The findings highlight the importance of helping Latina/o college students remain connected to their families and cultural values as a way of promoting their mental health.
KeywordsLatina/o young adults Mental health Cultural values Cultural stressors
We would like to acknowledge our study participants for their time and valued contributions to this research. We would like to thank the college students who participated in this study by volunteering their time and responding to the confidential survey. We are also grateful to the other graduate students who helped design the study and collect data (i.e., Carla Shaffer, Michelle Pope).
This study was supported by a grant awarded to Dr. Corona from the Institute of Women’s Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. V.M. Rodríguez’s contribution was further supported by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Support Grant/Core Grant (P30 CA008748) and a training grant (T32 CA009461).
We acknowledge that this manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration, that it has not been published previously (partly or in full), no data have been fabricated or manipulated to support our conclusions, plagiarism has been avoided, consent to submit the manuscript was received from all co-authors, and that authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
RC conceived of the study, participated in its design (including participant recruitment and data collection), consulted on data analysis and interpretation, and coordinated the drafting of the manuscript, including taking the lead on the introduction and methods, and reviewing the results and discussion sections. VMR participated in the design of the study (including participant recruitment and data collection), performed the statistical analysis, took the lead in writing up the results, and contributed to the writing of all sections of the manuscript. SM consulted on data analysis, took the lead in interpreting the data in the discussion section, and reviewed all other sections. AR, EV, and VF conceived of the study questions, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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