Race and Social Problems

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 235–247 | Cite as

Mental Health Among Mexican-Origin Immigrant Families: The Roles of Cumulative Sociodemographic Risk and Immigrant-Related Stress

  • Catherine DeCarlo SantiagoEmail author
  • Laura M. L. Distel
  • Anna M. Ros
  • Stephanie K. Brewer
  • Stephanie A. Torres
  • Jaclyn Lennon Papadakis
  • Anne K. Fuller
  • Yvita Bustos


The current study examined the unique effects of cumulative sociodemographic risk and immigrant-related stress on mental health symptoms among Mexican-origin immigrant parents and their school-age children. Further, this study tested whether the effects of cumulative sociodemographic risk and immigrant-related stress on child mental health were mediated by parent mental health. Participants included 104 Mexican-origin immigrant families. Families in the study had a child between the ages of 6 and 10 (Mage = 8.39; 61% female). Data were collected across three time points spaced 6 months apart. Immigrant-related stress was found to predict parent mental health, which in turn predicted child mental health. Cumulative sociodemographic risk did not predict parent or child mental health. Mental health symptoms generally decreased over time, but for children, change in mental health symptoms depended on parent mental health symptoms. Given the high levels of mental health symptoms among Mexican-origin parents and children, reducing a context of stress and promoting mental health interventions for Mexican-origin immigrants is critical.


Cumulative risk Stress Immigrant Mental health Parent psychopathology 



This research was funded by the Foundation for Child Development under Grant No. LUC-1-13 (; PI: Santiago).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine DeCarlo Santiago
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura M. L. Distel
    • 1
  • Anna M. Ros
    • 1
  • Stephanie K. Brewer
    • 1
  • Stephanie A. Torres
    • 1
  • Jaclyn Lennon Papadakis
    • 1
  • Anne K. Fuller
    • 2
  • Yvita Bustos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Depression Research and Clinical CareUT Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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