IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The role of migration in the development of depressive symptoms among Latino immigrant parents in the USA


  • Ornelas, India J.
  • Perreira, Krista M.


Nearly one out of every four children in the US is a child of immigrants. Yet few studies have assessed how factors at various stages of migration contribute to the development of health problems in immigrant populations. Most focus only on post-migration factors influencing health. Using data from the Latino Adolescent Migration, Health, and Adaptation Project, this study assessed the extent to which pre-migration (e.g., major life events, high poverty), migration (e.g., unsafe and stressful migration experiences), post-migration (e.g., discrimination, neighborhood factors, family reunification, linguistic isolation), and social support factors contributed to depressive symptoms among a sample of Latino immigrant parents with children ages 12–18. Results indicated that high poverty levels prior to migration, stressful experiences during migration, as well as racial problems in the neighborhood and racial/ethnic discrimination upon settlement in the US most strongly contribute to the development of depressive symptoms among Latino immigrant parents. Family reunification, social support, and familism reduce the likelihood of depressive symptoms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ornelas, India J. & Perreira, Krista M., 2011. "The role of migration in the development of depressive symptoms among Latino immigrant parents in the USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(8), pages 1169-1177.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:8:p:1169-1177
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.07.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alegria, Margarita & Shrout, Patrick E. & Woo, Meghan & Guarnaccia, Peter & Sribney, William & Vila, Doryliz & Polo, Antonio & Cao, Zhun & Mulvaney-Day, Norah & Torres, Maria & Canino, Glorisa, 2007. "Understanding differences in past year psychiatric disorders for Latinos living in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 214-230, July.
    2. John Iceland & Melissa Scopilliti, 2008. "Immigrant residential segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas, 1990–2000," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(1), pages 79-94, February.
    3. William Kandel & Emilio A. Parrado, 2005. "Restructuring of the US Meat Processing Industry and New Hispanic Migrant Destinations," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 447-471.
    4. Emilio Parrado & Chenoa Flippen & Chris McQuiston, 2005. "Migration and relationship power among mexican women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(2), pages 347-372, May.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.137091_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lee, Min-Ah, 2009. "Neighborhood residential segregation and mental health: A multilevel analysis on Hispanic Americans in Chicago," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1975-1984, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Arévalo, Sandra P. & Tucker, Katherine L. & Falcón, Luis M., 2015. "Beyond cultural factors to understand immigrant mental health: Neighborhood ethnic density and the moderating role of pre-migration and post-migration factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 91-100.
    2. Krista M. Perreira & India Ornelas, 2013. "Painful Passages: Traumatic Experiences and Post-Traumatic Stress among U.S. Immigrant Latino Adolescents and their Primary Caregivers," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 976-1005, December.
    3. Um, Mee Young & Chi, Iris & Kim, Hee Jin & Palinkas, Lawrence A. & Kim, Jae Yop, 2015. "Correlates of depressive symptoms among North Korean refugees adapting to South Korean society: The moderating role of perceived discrimination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 107-113.
    4. Chadwick, Kathryn A. & Collins, Patricia A., 2015. "Examining the relationship between social support availability, urban center size, and self-perceived mental health of recent immigrants to Canada: A mixed-methods analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 220-230.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:8:p:1169-1177. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.