Employment Frustration and Alcohol Abuse/Dependence Among Labor Migrants in California

Published in: Journal of Immigrant Health, v. 5, no. 4, Oct. 2003, p. 181-186

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Brian Karl Finch, Ralph C. Catalano, Raymond W. Novaco, William A. Vega

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The authors test whether or not labor market frustration is associated with clinical alcohol abuse/dependence diagnoses among labor migrants living in California. Our sample consists of 1576 Mexican labor migrants in Fresno, CA, who migrated for the purpose of seeking employment. Using clinical criterion (DSM-III-R), they find that frustrating experiences resulting from labor market exclusion and discrimination are significantly related to past-year alcohol abuse/dependence. Similarly, although high levels of social support are salutary, they are not protective among those who experience moderate/high levels of employment frustration. Since Mexican-origin immigrants have low rates of health insurance coverage and lower propensities for formal help-seeking, community outreach programs that target labor migrants are essential to this population's mental health maintenance.

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