Stress and depression in Latin American immigrants:The mediating role of religiosity

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Objective. – Migrating implies a high level of stress thatmay destabilise immigrants’ mental health. The sense of spiritual fulfilment (feelings of faith, religiosity, and transcendence beyond ordinary material life) can mitigate the stress and benefit mental health. The objective of the present study was to analyze the relationship between migratory stress, religiosity and depression symptoms, as well as the mediating role of religiosity between migratory stress and depression symptoms.

Method. – Participants were 295 Latin American immigrants living in Barcelona (Spain), 186 of whom (63.1%) were women and 109 (36.9%) were men. They were recruited from a Spanish NGO by means of a consecutive-case method.

Results. – The results showed an inverse relationship between religiosity and depression symptoms, but only inwomen. Likewise, in women, the sense of spiritual fulfilment had mediating value in buffering the relationship between stress and depression symptoms. This mediating value of spiritual fulfilment was

not observed in men. For both genders religiosity was inversely related with stress. In addition, it was observed that the sense of religiosity decreases as the time since immigration passes.

Conclusions. – These results may be of importance in clinical practice for prevention and therapeutic

intervention with Latin American immigrants. As sense of transcendence and social support from the

religious community are intertwined, it is difficult to specifically attribute the observed benefit of

religiosity to the former versus the later.


T. Kirchner
C. Patin˜o

Fecha de publicación 03 de febrero de 2010
Fecha de aceptación 09 de abril de 2013
Bases de datos donde está referenciada

European Psychiatry 25 (2010) 479–484

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