The Role of Migration Processes on Mexican Americans' Anxiety
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The U.S Census estimates that there are approximately 31 million Mexican Americans living in the U.S (U.S. Census 2013). Currently, little research has focused on the relationship between migration processes and the worries/anxiety of Mexican Americans. Studies show that worries/anxiety related to migration is an issue among Mexican Americans (Acevedo-Garcia and Almeida 2012). The purpose of this study is to analyze if there is a relationship between the prevalence of worries/anxiety and migration processes, specifically age at migration, frequency of migration, and remittances. A sample of 868 Mexican Americans from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) 2002-2003 survey that estimates the prevalence of mental disorders and rates of mental health service by Latinos and Asian Americans in the United States was analyzed. NLAAS asked several questions related to demographic background, migration social processes and self-reported worries. Chi-Square analyses and logistic regression analysis show that migration processes do have a statistically significant relationship with worries/anxiety, specifically, age at migration. In general, foreign-born respondents of Mexican descent reported a higher prevalence of worries compared to U.S. born. However, specific age group differences did reveal that foreign- born individuals who migrated to the U.S. between the ages of 18 – 34 years old reported less worries compared to those who migrated at under 12 and between 13 – 17 years. Relative to U.S. Mexican Americans, Mexican Americans who migrated to the United States before the age of 12 and between 11 – 17 years old were more likely to report worrying more than others and had excessive worries. Language, class, gender and education were additional factors that were found to be significant social determinates of worries/anxiety. Respondents who preferred to speak Spanish at home reported a lower prevalence of worries/anxiety; however, female respondents reported higher prevalence of worries/anxiety. Additionally, respondents who did not have a high school diploma were more likely to report less worries/anxiety than respondents who did have a high school education, and individuals who earned $20,299 – $40,000 annually were also less likely to report a prevalence of worries/anxiety then those who made more annually. Tests showed frequency of migration, and remittances did not result to be statistically significant. The prevalence of high worries that were found among Mexican Americans, suggests that demographic background and timing of migration play a role in the manifestation and course of worries/anxiety. Additional research and health care interventions are needed to address worries/anxiety among Mexican Americans living in the United States.