Disentangling immigrant status in mental health: psychological protective and risk factors among Latino and Asian American immigrants

Frederick Leong, Yong S Park, Zornitsa Kalibatseva
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 2013, 83 (2): 361-71
This study aimed to disentangle the psychological mechanisms underlying immigrant status by testing a model of psychological protective and risk factors to predict the mental health prevalence rates among Latino and Asian American immigrants based on secondary analysis of the National Latino and Asian American Study. The first research question examined differences on the set of protective and risk factors between immigrants and their U.S.-born counterparts and found that immigrants reported higher levels of ethnic identity, family cohesion, native language proficiency, and limited English proficiency than their U.S.-born counterparts. The second research question examined the effect of the protective and risk factors on prevalence rates of depressive, anxiety, and substance-related disorders and found that social networking served as a protective factor. Discrimination, acculturative stress, and family conflict were risk factors on the mental health for both ethnic groups. Clinical implications and directions for future research are provided.

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