Hoping for a better tomorrow: Do hope and optimism serve as protective factors against discrimination in Latinx immigrants?

Andrea Camacho de Anda, David Becerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The criminalization of Latinx immigration combined with anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians and media outlets, have led to an array of poor psychosocial outcomes for those who arrive and remain within the United States. Using an Ecological Risk and Resilience Framework, this paper examines the relationship between perceived discrimination within the recent anti-immigration social context and the mental health of Latino immigrants in Arizona. In addition, this study examined whether hope and optimism serve as protective factors against the negative mental health impacts of discrimination among men and women. Data were drawn from a sample of adult Latinx immigrants (n = 421) living in Arizona. Results indicated that participants who reported a greater discrimination reported significantly higher symptoms of 1) depression, 2) anxiety, and 3) stress. In addition, a moderation analysis was conducted to examine whether hope and optimism serve as protective factors against the negative mental health impacts of discrimination. The results indicated hope and optimism moderated the effect of discrimination for males’ reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. However, for females, hope and optimism moderated the effect of discrimination for depression, but not on anxiety and stress. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • discrimination
  • Immigration
  • Latinos
  • Latinx
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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