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Sociopolitical context and depressive symptoms in an older Mexican-origin population

TitleSociopolitical context and depressive symptoms in an older Mexican-origin population
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMiranda, PYvonne
UniversityMiranda, Patricia Yvonne: U Michigan, US
Accession NumberDissertation Abstract: 2009-99140-087
Keywords*Major Depression, *Political Issues, *Symptoms, Developmental Psychology [2800], Human Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Aged (65 yrs & older), Socioeconomic Status, sociopolitical context, depressive symptoms, older Mexican, us
AbstractA large proportion of older adult Latinos have at least one chronic physical health condition; those same individuals who also exhibit depressive symptoms experience higher mortality rates. Given their projected population growth of 500% by 2050, it is important to disentangle the factors influencing the health status of Latinos aged 65 and older, specifically those who also experience depressive symptoms. Prior studies of depressive symptoms among Latino populations have often failed to consider the role of sociopolitical context-that is, the social, economic, political and historical circumstances that shape an individual's lived experience-and its contribution to understanding within-group differences for health outcomes. This study explores the relationships between sociopolitical context and number of depressive symptoms among an older Mexican-origin population in the U.S., and seeks to disentangle the importance of sociopolitical context from other widely used group stratifications for capturing U.S.-Mexican experiences, including nativity status, length of residence in the U.S., and place of residence during formative years. Study findings do not support rejecting the null hypothesis that there were differences in number of depressive symptoms by nativity status, length of residence in the U.S., or place of residence during formative years. Rather, findings suggest that the interaction of sociopolitical context and the age at which individuals arrive in the U.S. has a significant association with number of depressive symptoms among immigrants. This study takes a novel approach to examine the relationships between sociopolitical context at time of entry in the U.S. and symptoms of depression in later life. The implications of its findings for immigration as well as other social policies are discussed. The significant relationship between the interaction of sociopolitical context during time of entry into the U.S. and age of arrival into the U.S. suggests that contextual differences are related to a disparate number of depressive symptoms for this population. Thus, it is critical for researchers to understand contextual differences more broadly, and how past and future social policies influence health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).