The citizenship shield: Mediated and moderated links between immigration status, discrimination, food insecurity, and negative health outcomes for latinx immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic

Germán A. Cadenas, Alison Cerezo, Fiorella L. Carlos Chavez, Cristalis Capielo Rosario, Lucas Torres, Beatriz Suro, Mercedez Fuentes, Delida Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A framework termed “the citizenship shield” is introduced to conceptualize how legal protections buffer against negative health outcomes among Latinx immigrants in the United States. In this study, we tested the citizenship shield framework in the context of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinx immigrants. We investigated the connection between immigration status, discrimination, food insecurity, and negative health outcomes. Analyses involved testing mediation and moderation models among a community-based sample of 536 Latinx immigrants holding five statuses (i.e., U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, undocumented, and temporary status). Results suggested that food insecurity mediated the link between discrimination and negative impacts from the pandemic for Latinx immigrants across all statuses. Follow up analyses suggested that two of the three paths were moderated by immigration status. This research provides novel, important data to inform health interventions and federal policy targeted for the most vulnerable immigrants in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Latinx immigrants
  • U.S. citizenship
  • food insecurity
  • health disparity
  • racial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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