Date of this Version
Woodward, M. 2020. Differences in Psychological Distress for United States Native and Foreign Born Populations: Testing for Mediation of Neighborhood Satisfaction, Poverty, and Health Insurance. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The current study examines the difference in frequency of psychological distress between people born in the United States and people born outside of the United States. Further, this study tested for mediating effects of neighborhood satisfaction, poverty status, and health insurance. This study included data from the National Health Interview Survey. Those born outside of the United States were found to report slightly better mental health outcomes. They experienced psychological distress at a lower rate than those born in the United States. Neighborhood satisfaction, living above the poverty line, and having health insurance were all negatively associated with psychological stress. Psychological distress decreased as respondents’ neighborhood satisfaction increased, lived above the poverty line, and had access to health insurance. However, neighborhood satisfaction, poverty status, and access to health insurance did not have a mediating effect on the relationship between mental health and immigration. Instead, neighborhood satisfaction, poverty status, and health insurance were found to have suppression effects. If foreign-born respondents had reported these variables at levels as high as native-born respondents, their levels of psychological distress would have been even lower.