Cultural and community resources protect Latino migrant day laborers from discrimination-related distress.

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2019 Apr 16;25(2):232-241. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to test the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in Latino migrant day laborers (LMDLs), including potential protective factors: access to cultural resources (e.g., festivals, people from one's country of origin), including community services perceived to be culturally competent, and contact with family in country of origin (e.g., phone/text, visits). Findings expand our understanding of discrimination-related psychological distress, in a particularly stigmatized population of Latinos, and how cultural and community resources may help mitigate discrimination-related distress.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 344 LMDLs in the San Francisco Bay Area from February to July 2014. Participants were 46.5% Mexican and 50.7% Central American, 91.9% undocumented, and 40.5 years of age on average (SD = 10.8). Mediation and moderation analyses tested whether protective factors would mitigate discrimination-related distress.

Results: Discrimination was related to depression, anxiety, and desesperación, the latter a popular Latino idiom of psychological distress, and this relationship was mediated by access to cultural resources and use of culturally competent community services.

Conclusions: Culturally competent community services, including cultural resources from country of origin, may help mitigate discrimination-related distress in LMDLs. However, such interventions are likely to have diminishing returns unless the structural vulnerability of LMDLs is addressed (e.g., expanding work authorization, sanctuary city ordinances). Implications for future research include developing multilevel measures of LMDL discrimination that include structural factors perceived as discriminatory (i.e., antiloitering city ordinances, immigration control). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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April 2019

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