The Influence of Religious Coping on the Acculturative Stress of Recent Latino Immigrants

Mariana Sanchez, Frank Dillon, Beverly Ruffin, Mario de la Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Acculturative stress negatively impacts the physical and mental health of Latino immigrants. Little is known about the pre-immigration resources that may influence the acculturative stress of Latino immigrants. Religion plays a prominent role in Latino culture and may prove to be an influential resource during difficult life transitions, such as those experienced during the immigration process. The present study examines the association between religious coping resources prior to immigration and acculturative stress after immigration within a multiethnic sample of 527 adult Latinos who have lived in the United States for less than 1 year. Path analyses revealed that pre-immigration external religious coping was associated with high levels of post-immigration acculturative stress. Illegal immigrant status was associated with high levels of pre-immigration religious coping as well as post-immigration acculturative stress. These findings expand scientific understanding as to the function and effect of specific religious coping mechanisms among Latino immigrants. Furthermore, results underscore the need for future research, which could serve to inform culturally relevant prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-194
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Latinos
  • acculturation
  • immigrant
  • religiosity
  • religious coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education


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