Perceived stress and well-being: The role of social support as a protective factor among Peruvian immigrants in Spain

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Abstract
Background
Migration is a potentially stressful process due to the sociocultural changes and the adaptation processes that go along with it. However, social support can mitigate the impact of stress, ease the adaptation process and contribute to migrants’ overall well-being. The aim of this study was to explore to what extent social support buffers the effects of stress and ethnic prejudice on subjective well-being and physical symptoms in a Peruvian immigrant community in Spain.

Method
One hundred and thirty seven people participated in the study, 67.2% of them women and 32.8% men, with an age range between 19 and 64 years, who responded to self-report instruments through an online survey. The statistical analysis consisted of obtaining a structural equation model (SEM) in order to estimate the direct, indirect and total effects involved in the relationships between the study variables.

Results
Social support was shown to have a significant direct effect (β=.174, p=.017) on the participants’ degree of subjective well-being, as well as an indirect effect mediated by both stress and ethnic prejudice (β=.170, p<.001). No significant direct relationship was found between the degree of social support and the severity of participants’ physical symptoms.

Conclusions
The level of social support contributes to subjective well-being and acts as a protective factor against the effects of high levels of stress and ethnic prejudice, thus fostering immigrants’ process of adaptation to their new socio-cultural context.
Year of Publication
2020
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
26
Issue
2-3
Number
Number of Pages
67-72
Date Published
12/2020
Type of Article
Journal article
Publisher
ISSN Number
11347937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
URL
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1134793720300191
DOI
10.1016/j.anyes.2020.03.002