Examining the moderating effects of religious coping on the relationship between acculturative stress and depression and suicide ideation among emerging adult Latinx immigrants

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Camila A. Pulgar Guzman (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
DiAnne Borders

Abstract: Even though the rhetoric that immigrants hear from many sources is often less than welcoming, the Latinx immigrant community continues to increase and is growing rapidly in the United States (Pew Research Center, 2018), making it important than ever to learn more about the acculturative stress process and its effect on Latinx individual’s mental health. Latinx immigrants come from diverse countries in Latin America and bring with them varying religious beliefs, education, and traditions. According to the 2018 census, there is diversity in terms of country of origin and nativity for Latinx immigrants, revealing that 61.9% of Latinx immigrants to the U.S. identified with Mexican ancestry, 9.6% with Puerto Rician, 3.9% Cuban, and 3.8% as Salvadoran. The richness of the Latinx community allows for an extensive and diverse set of values, resiliency, and coping opportunities. As they immigrate from their home countries, Latinx immigrants are at high risk for the negative mental health consequences that come with acculturative stress. Exploring this immigration process and cultural transitions, or acculturation process, affords a glance into factors that impact Latinx immigrants’ mental health and coping mechanisms, especially predicting depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. Additionally, religious identity is salient among many members of the Latinx community, with those in the Latinx community using religious coping mechanisms more frequently than their non-Latinx White counterparts (Valle, 1994). Accordingly, it seems critical to understand how religious coping, defined as “the use of cognitive and behavioral techniques, in the face of stressful life events, that arise out of one’s religion or spirituality” (Tix & Frazier, 1998, p. 411), might serve to weaken (positive religious coping) or strengthen (negative religious coping) the relationship between acculturative stress and suicide ideation. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to examine the moderating effect of religious coping on the relationship between acculturative stress and suicide ideation among Latinx immigrants. The analyses for this dissertation consisted of linear regressions and moderation analysis through the use of regression analyses. Data were collected via social media, snowballing, and network notifications. All of the data were analyzed using SPSS, and the results are described to answer the proposed research question. Results show that even though religious coping was a strong predictor of depression, it did not serve as a significant moderator of the relationship between acculturative stress and either depression or suicidal ideation. Interestingly, this sample had participants who reported unusually high levels of suicidal ideation and depression, and possible explanations for this are discussed in Chapter V. Study limitations, implications for counselors, and suggestions for future research are included.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Acculturative stress, Latinx, Religious coping, Suicidal ideation
Hispanic Americans $x Mental health
Emigration and immigration $x Psychological aspects
Assimilation (Sociology) $x Psychological aspects
Mental health $x Religious aspects

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