Demands of Immigration, Health Literacy, and Depression in Recent Latino Immigrants

Latino immigrants have unique stressors that can influence mental health. The challenges of adapting to a new society include language barriers, separation from family, and feelings of loss, which can lead to depression. Low health literacy may make it difficult to obtain health care services, and depression may then go untreated. This secondary data analysis examined the relationships of immigration demands, health literacy, and depression in a sample of recent Latino immigrants. Depressive symptoms were a significant problem; 26% of the participants reported symptoms that were suggestive of depression. Furthermore, low health literacy and greater immigration demands predicted higher depression scores. The study suggests that recent Latino immigrants would benefit from health literacy training, education on depressive symptoms, and better access to mental health services. Latinos who do access health care services need to be screened for depression; furthermore, home health care nurses can promote access to support and health care services.