Race and Social Problems

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 280–297 | Cite as

Financial Strain, Negative Interaction, Coping Styles, and Mental Health Among Low-Income Latinos

  • María P. ArandaEmail author
  • Karen D. Lincoln


This study examines the relationship between financial strain and depressive symptoms in later life, and potential psychosocial mediators of this relationship. Drawing on a sample of 214 low-income Latino older adults, we used structural equation modeling to test the direct effect of chronic financial strain on depressive symptomatology, and the indirect effects via social support, negative interaction, and coping styles. Findings indicated that financial strain increased the level of depressive symptoms among this sample. Avoidance and approach-related coping styles emerged as independent determinants of depressive symptoms albeit in opposite directions; higher levels of avoidance coping was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. Contrary to previous findings on the general population, findings from the current study indicate that social support and negative interaction were not directly associated with depressive symptoms. Financial strain mediated the effect of sociocultural (nativity status, years of U.S. residence) and social status factors (age, education) on depressive symptoms. This study highlights the differential impact of financial strain and coping styles on psychological well-being, and the potential psychosocial targets of interventions for older adults with chronic health care conditions.


Depression Stress Psychosocial mediators Latinos Sociocultural 



The preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to Dr. Aranda (R21MH080624) and to Dr. Lincoln (R01-MH084963) with supplemental support of resources and the use of facilities at the USC School of Social Work Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services at the School of Social Work, University of Southern California (Drs. Aranda and Lincoln).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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