Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1292–1300 | Cite as

Depression and Chronic Health Conditions Among Latinos: The Role of Social Networks

  • Sandra Soto
  • Elva M. Arredondo
  • Miguel T. Villodas
  • John P. Elder
  • Elena Quintanar
  • Hala Madanat
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to examine the “buffering hypothesis” of social network characteristics in the association between chronic conditions and depression among Latinos. Cross-sectional self-report data from the San Diego Prevention Research Center’s community survey of Latinos were used (n = 393). Separate multiple logistic regression models tested the role of chronic conditions and social network characteristics in the likelihood of moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms. Having a greater proportion of the network comprised of friends increased the likelihood of depression among those with high cholesterol. Having a greater proportion of women in the social network was directly related to the increased likelihood of depression, regardless of the presence of chronic health conditions. Findings suggest that network characteristics may play a role in the link between chronic conditions and depression among Latinos. Future research should explore strategies targeting the social networks of Latinos to improve health outcomes.


Depression Chronic diseases Social network Social support Latinos 



The data used for this study came from the San Diego Prevention Research Center’s (SDPRC) 2009 community survey, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48 DP00036-04).


This study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48 DP00036-04).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Soto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elva M. Arredondo
    • 2
    • 3
  • Miguel T. Villodas
    • 4
  • John P. Elder
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elena Quintanar
    • 5
  • Hala Madanat
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Health Behavior)San Diego State University/University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Behavioral and Community HealthSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Public HealthSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, College of Arts and SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  5. 5.County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, South RegionSan DiegoUSA

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