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Cislo, Andrew M.; Spence, Naomi J.; & Gayman, Mathew D. (2010). The Mental Health and Psychosocial Adjustment of Cuban Immigrants in South Florida. Social Science & Medicine, 71(6), 1173-1181. PMCID: PMC2922468


Given documented variation in pre-migration and migration-related experiences, Cuban immigrants in the U.S. who arrived during or subsequent to 1980 may be disadvantaged in mental health and psychosocial adjustment relative to earlier arrivals. Using wave 1 of the Physical Challenge and Health study, we compare earlier and later arriving immigrants in levels of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem and test whether adversity and social support, acculturation-related factors, or pre-migration conditions account for any differences observed among a sample of adults living in South Florida (N = 191). Bivariate analyses reveal that later arrivals are relatively disadvantaged in anxiety and self-esteem and marginally so in depression. While later arrivals do not report more adversity in the U.S., they have lower levels of family support to cope with any adversity experienced. Later arrivals are also less likely to interview in English or to have a strong American identity, and they were more likely to have arrived as adults. Relative disadvantages in anxiety and self-esteem are best explained by indicators of acculturation and family support. Policies and programs that address acculturation difficulties and increase family support could improve the health and adjustment of these and similar immigrants.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science & Medicine


Cislo, Andrew M.
Spence, Naomi J.
Gayman, Mathew D.