Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Deborah Fish Ragin

Committee Member

Saundra Collins

Committee Member

Sandra Y Lewis

Committee Member

Ken Sumner


Latin Americans--United States--Religion, South American Americans--Religion, Central American Americans--Religion, Immigrants--United States, Emigration and immigration--Psychological aspects, United States--Emigration and immigration, Latin America--Emigration and immigration, Central America--Emigration and immigration, South America--Emigration and immigration


This study examines factors that contribute to the adjustment of the Latino population, the second largest ethnic group in the United State. It viewed traditional cultural factor of religiosity and spirituality which have been identified as central to the Latino culture. Specifically, the study examined the role of religiosity and spirituality as coping mechanisms for adjustment (viewed through life satisfaction, depressive symptoms) to the North American culture by Central and South American immigrants who follow the Christian, Pentecostal religion. One-on-one interviews were conducted with men and women participants. Participants responded to questions concerning religion/spirituality, life satisfaction, psychological well-being and acculturation to the U.S. American culture in addition to providing basic demographic information about themselves and their length of stay in the US. Results revealed a significant negative relationship between depression and life satisfaction, as well as a negative relationship between depression and religiosity/ spirituality. Furthermore, results showed a significant positive relationship between religiosity/spirituality with life satisfaction as well as a significant positive association between depression and acculturation. Depression among this population was best predicted by satisfaction with life and level of acculturation to the US. The results may be help explain how religion may be used as a coping mechanism among Central and South American immigrants.

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Psychology Commons