Date of Conferral







Georita Frierson


AbstractImmigrants may experience acculturative stress as they adapt to their host country's dominant culture, which previous research has indicated may affect their physical and mental health. The purpose of this quantitative study utilizing a random sample was to examine the effect of acculturative stress and age on the mental and physical health of adult women of Mexican origin living in the United States, considering the moderation of perceived discrimination. The theoretical framework of acculturation by John W. Berry guided this study. The three research questions involved understanding whether immigrant Mexican women experienced a negative effect on their mental and physical health influenced by acculturative stress and age and whether perceived discrimination moderated the impact of acculturative stress. Data were analyzed using multivariate regression with path analysis. It was concluded that the moderator of perceived discrimination had a significant statistical effect on acculturative stress and anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, and role limitation, but no impact on bodily pain, energy fatigue, or general health perceptions. This study may improve the understanding of researchers, theorists, and practitioners regarding the interplay of mental and physical health implications for immigrant Mexican women experiencing acculturative stress while living in the United States and may inform culture- and gender-salient treatments. Further studies are recommended on other Latin ethnic groups as well as male immigrants. Studies on improving acculturation and/or prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, and role limitation are also recommended.