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Marital Strain, Coping, and Depression among Mexican-American Women

William A. Vega, Bohdan Kolody and Ramon Valle
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 50, No. 2 (May, 1988), pp. 391-403
DOI: 10.2307/352005
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352005
Page Count: 13
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Marital Strain, Coping, and Depression among Mexican-American Women
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Abstract

The relationship of marital strain, coping, and depression is examined in a cross-sectional sub-sample of Mexican-American women (N = 550) in San Diego County. The theoretical basis of the research is a model of coping with stress and illness, which is used (a) to identify normative patterns of marital strain and coping, (b) to test whether marital strain and coping factors covary with depressive symptoms and acculturation, and (c) to test whether coping factors are either moderating or buffering marital strain. The factor structure of marital status, coping responses, and cognitive traits was derived without imposing factors on the data. This procedure reveals a factor structure for Mexican Americans which is similar to that found in a normative sample in a non-Hispanic area of Chicago. Marital strain and coping factors (including coping responses and cognitive traits) are found to be intercorrelated and to covary with depressive symptoms. Acculturation level also covaries with some marital strain and coping factors but is not related to depressive symptoms. Multiple regression analyses underscore the moderating effects of marital coping responses and cognitive traits because, when combined, they explain the correlation between marital strain and depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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