Objective. Mexican Americans report significantly lower rates of major depression than do other Americans. This difference has been attributed to several possible mechanisms, including a cultural immunity to acute stressors. The purpose of this research is to test the hypothesis that Mexican Americans are reactive to one acute stressor, job loss, that is a demonstratec risk factor for depression in samples of the U.S. population. Methods. The test is based on a representative sample of 3,012 Mexican Americans living in Fresno County, California. Results. Job loss is a risk factor for major depression among Mexican Americans in our sample. Conclusions. The inference from previous research that Mexican Americans were less reactive to acute stressors than were others in the community is probably incorrect. The relatively low rate of depression among Mexican Americans may be explained by cultural factors that protect against the chronic strains rather than acute stressors. Any public policies or clinical practices that assume Mexican Americans can withstand acute stressors better than other persons can should be reviewed in light of our findings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Social Science Quarterly|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)