Unemployment and Mental Health among Mexican Immigrants and other Population Groups in the United States

Desempleo y salud mental entre inmigrantes mexicanos y otros grupos de población en Estados Unidos


Idioma original:


Analizamos el impacto del desempleo en la salud mental de los inmigrantes mexicanos, comparando a éstos con los mexicanos nacidos en Estados Unidos, con otros hispanos, y con los nativos blancos y afroamericanos, con base en las National Health Interview
Surveys de 1999 y 2009. Destacan las bajas prevalencias de tensiones sicológicas en los inmigrantes mexicanos. A pesar del aumento de las tasas de desempleo, los problemas de salud mental se mantuvieron estables; sin embargo, nuestros resultados sugieren un fuerte efecto negativo del desempleo sobre la salud mental. Efectos de la composición de los grupos ayudan  explicarlo. El impacto del desempleo sobre la salud mental aumenta considerablemente entre los blancos nativos, mientras en los grupos con más desventajas socioeconómicas, los afroamericanos y los hispanos, se mantuvo sin cambios.

Palabras clave: desempleo; salud mental; latinoamericanos en Estados Unidos; inmigrantes mexicanos; análisis causal


We analyze the impact of unemployment on the mental health of Mexican immigrants, comparing them with Mexicans born in the United States, other Hispanics, and white and African-American natives, using the 1999 and 2009 National Health Interview Surveys. Noteworthy is the low prevalence of mental health disorders
among Mexican immigrants. Despite strongly increased unemployment rates, mental health problems remained rather stable; nevertheless—while accounting for the possibility of bidirectional causality using instrumental variables—our findings
suggest a strong negative effect of unemployment on mental health. Group composition effects help to explain this. The impact of unemployment on mental health strongly increased among native whites while for the socioeconomically more disadvantaged
African-Americans and Hispanics the impact was unchanged

Keywords: unemployment; mental health; Latin Americans in the U.S; Mexican immigrants; causal analysis

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