Stressors, psychological distress, mental disorder, religious service attendance


Much research has documented the mental health consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; however, little is known about how the 9/11 attacks affect the mental health of Latino Americans. This study uses a nationally representative sample of Latino Americans (N = 2,346) from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) to examine the relationships between 9/11-induced negative life experiences and mental disorders. The former includes losing a job, reducing family income, feeling less safe and secure, discrimination, loss of optimism, and inability to cope with things. For the latter, mental disorders may exhibit as psychological distress, depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder. This study also evaluates the moderating role of religious service attendance in these relationships. Results indicated that the negative life experiences resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks were predictive of psychological distress, depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder. In addition, religious service attendance exhibited the buffering effect of the 9/11-related experiences on distress and depressive disorder, but not on anxiety disorder. Findings highlight the potential role of religious service attendance in mitigating the adverse mental health effects of stressors among Latinos Americans especially in the aftermath of a disaster.

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