Longitudinal Study of Stress and Social Support in Married Arab Immigrant Women
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: Arab immigrant women are at risk for depression (Aroian, Uddin, & Ullah, 2015; Hassouneh & Kulwicki, 2007; Jamil et al., 2008) and knowledge of risk factors assist with identifying targets of intervention. In a previous study, we used cross-sectional data to investigate the relationship between socio-demographic risk, two classes of stress (i.e., immigration demands and daily hassles), three sources of social support (i.e., husband, family, and friends), and depression in Arab immigrant women in the U.S. (Authors, 2015). Since stress and social support are mutable and change with acculturation to the resettlement country, the present study includes three panels of longitudinal data to further explore the trajectory of depression in these women. Methods: A sample of 388 married Arab immigrant women provided three panels of data approximately 18 months apart and completed Arabic or English language versions of a demographic and migration questionnaire, the Demands of Immigration Scale (DIS; Aroian, Tran, & Schappler-Morris, 1998), the Daily Hassles Scale (DHS: Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer & Lazarus, 1981), an adapted version of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS: Zimit, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988) -- the MSPSS-AW (Aroian,Templin, & Ramaswamy, 2010) -- and the Center for Epidemiological Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977). The independent variables were depression at Time 1, socio-demographic variables from Time 3, and the rate of change in stress and social support variables between Times 1, 2, and 3. Regression analysis was used to identify the explanatory variables that predict the women's Time 3 depression scores. Depression at Time 3 was regressed on rate of change over time in the stress and social support variables, depression at Time 1, and socio-demographic variables from Time 3. Results: The regression model was significant (F(6, 379)=45.88, p< 0.0001) and accounted for 41.16% of the variation in Time 3 Depression scores. Depression at Time 1; changes in immigration demands, daily hassles, and friend support; ability to read English, and husband's employment status were associated with Time 3 Depression. On average, women with increased friend support and ability to read English were less depressed and women with increased immigration demands; increased daily hassles; and retired, disabled, or unemployed husbands were more depressed. Conclusion: Study finding suggest that interventions should encourage Arab immigrant women to establish friendships and rely on friend support and assist them in managing their immigration demands and daily hassles. Resettlement programs should focus on teaching English reading skills and assisting husbands to find employment.