Interpersonal Discrimination and Older Latinx Adults in the United States

TitleInterpersonal Discrimination and Older Latinx Adults in the United States
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsDues, A
UniversityUniversity of South Carolina
CityColumbia, SC
KeywordsDepressive symtomology, Discrimination-health, Dyatic data, Interpersonal discrimination, Latinx families

Discrimination is a chronic source of stress among Latinx adults in the United States (Lopez et al. 2017; Williams 2012). Limited research, however, considers differences within ethnicity-nativity, the influence of important psychosocial mechanisms such as sense of control, and the ways interpersonal discrimination may extend beyond the individual, known as vicarious effects (Wofford et al. 2019). For my chapters, public data comes from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative longitudinal study of Americans aged 50 and older. My three dissertation chapters proceed in the following manner: Chapter 1 provides information to better understand Latinx adults beyond the monolithic categorization by examining experiences of interpersonal discrimination for US-born Mexican adults, US-born Latinx adults of other ethnicities, foreign-born Mexican adults, and foreign-born Latinx adults of other ethnicities. This fills a research gap by providing more detailed information on how racialized stress, via interpersonal discrimination measures, vary by ethnicity and nativity for older Latinx adults. For Chapter 2, I contribute to a better understanding of psychosocial resources, specifically sense of control (i.e., perceived constraints and mastery), which may explain the impact of discrimination on mental health (mediation) and/or protect against the adverse effects of interpersonal discrimination on depressive symptoms (moderation). I also stratify by ethnicity to better assess how these measures of sense of control might work differently across groups. This contributes to a broader understanding of mechanisms that might buffer the adverse consequences of discrimination on mental health, beyond previously researched social support measures. Finally, Chapter 3 contributes to the family literature by examining Latinx marriages. Specifically, I considered the way spouse’s experiences of interpersonal discrimination influences the depressive symptoms of their partner. Understanding dyadic relationships for older Latinx marriages is especially important as limited information considers older Latinx adults and their families. Using the stress process and linked lives theory, actor effects were found, but no partner effects were found—this may be explained by the familioso framework. Future research within discrimination, health, and family literature should continue to consider the specific processes influencing the wellbeing of Latinx individuals.
Citation Key12522