Stress and depressive symptoms among Mexican American elders

David A. Chiriboga, Sandra A. Black, Maria Aranda, Kyriakos Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Although social stressors have successfully predicted depressive symptomatology in a number of populations, few studies have examined the relevance of stressors for Mexican American elders. Results are reported here from a multistage probability sample of 3,050 Mexican Americans aged 65 and older drawn from a 5-state region. Participants reported low levels of education and income, and most reported difficulty in reading or writing in English. Deaths, illness of close other, and financial problems were the three most frequent life events, and many reported financial strains. Depressive symptoms were then regressed on demographic indicators, cognitive status, linguistic acculturation, social supports, and three types of stressors. Being a woman, lower income, decreased income, chronic financial strain, and several health stressors were associated with greater symptomatology. Results identified a cluster of economic stressors and conditions that may play a critical role in the etiology of depressive symptoms in this minority population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P559-P568
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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