Global Integrative Studies, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Non AL, Clausing ES, D’Anna Hernandez KL (2022) Changes in sociocultural stressors, protective factors, and mental health for US Latina mothers in a shifting political climate. PLoS ONE 17(8): e0273548. pone.0273548


Open access.


Background To investigate changes in sociocultural stressors and protective factors, and mental health in Latina mothers before and after the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Methods We examined changes in sociocultural stressors, protective factors, and mental health from two prospective cohorts of Latina mothers from interior and border US cities (Nashville, TN, n = 39 and San Diego, CA, ns range = 78–83; 2013–2020).

Results We identified significant longitudinal increases in depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in the border city, and reductions in protective factors (e.g., optimism, social support, and familism) across sites. Discrimination varied by location, and was associated with higher stress only at baseline in the border city, and with higher anxiety in the interior city at follow-up. Acculturative stress was consistently associated with worse mental health across time points in the border city. Various protective factors were associated with reduced stress and anxiety across time points in both cities.

Discussion We identified decreased mental health at the border city, and reduced protective factors in Latina mothers across both study sites in the years following the 2016 presidential nomination, during a time of shifting sociopolitical climate. We also identify increased acculturative stress and discrimination over time, particularly at the border city. Interventions to maintain and enhance psychosocial protective factors amongst Latina mothers are warranted.