The effects of perceived discrimination and cultural protective factors on Latinos'/as' psychological health
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The purpose of the current study is to examine the relationship between perceived discrimination and three types of psychological functioning (i.e., depression, anxiety, and self-esteem) through a adult Latino/a community sample. Another purpose is to explore the potential moderating effects of acculturation, enculturation, ethnic identity, and familismo on the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological functioning. This study consisted of 294 adult Latino/a Americans, predominantly Mexican and Mexican-American, from California’s Central Valley. Both English and Spanish paper survey packets were generated. The survey contained measures of perceived ethnic discrimination, psychological functioning (depression and anxiety, and self-esteem), acculturation, enculturation, ethnic identity, familismo, and self-esteem as well as a demographic questionnaire. Based on the correlational findings, Hypothesis 1 was partially supported, where Latinos’/as’ perceived discrimination was significantly and positively correlated with symptoms of anxiety and depression, but not with self-esteem. In Hypotheses 2-5, four culturally protective factors were hypothesized as moderators (buffers) on the relations between perceived discrimination and psychological functioning. These four culturally protective factors were enculturation, ethnic identity, familismo, and acculturation. Based on the hierarchical regression findings, none of the identified protective factors were found as moderators on the relations between perceived discrimination and psychological functioning. The study strengths and limitations as well as practical implications and future research are discussed.