Published Date: September 08, 2023

Summary: The Latino population is one of the largest immigrant groups in the United States, with the majority being of Mexican descent. Whether immigrating to the U.S. is positive for the well-being of Mexican immigrants and future generations is an important question. Authors examined how nativity status and quality of life indicators relate to life satisfaction among foreign-born and U.S.-born Mexican descent Latinos living in California. Participants were from the California Quality of Life Survey, a population-based mental health survey of the California population. 

Findings: Multiple regressions examining sociodemographic and indicators of life satisfaction found higher life satisfaction among the foreign-born compared to U.S.-born: females and individuals reporting more social support, absence of frequent distress, and better physical health. Life satisfaction was lower for U.S.-born Mexicans than for Mexican immigrants. Research, interventions, and policies are needed for mental health equity that address this lack of well-being in U.S.-born Mexican Latinos.

This study uses 2007 and 2012–2012 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data.

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