Assessing and Investigating Migration-Morbidity Among Children of Mexican Origin and Mexican American Mothers
Bonura, Erica Pe?rez
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The migration morbidity hypothesis suggests that stress events inherent in immigration contribute to an increase in psychopathology. Assessing and investigating migration-morbidity among children of Mexican origin and Mexican American mothers living in the United States is the focus of the current study. Participants in the study were 133 students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades residing in the U.S. A replication of the ASEBA Teacher Report Form (TRF) Post-Traumatic Stress Problems (PTSP) scale factor structure was conducted to determine its utility for children of Mexican and Mexican American mothers. Item-level confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to evaluate the adequacy of the PTSP scale model. Three models were evaluated using a CFI, RMSEA, and WRMR to determine fit. Results using dichotomous TRF responses and omitting item 8, which includes information about a child's ability to concentrate, yielded a CFI = 0.956, RMSEA = 0.071, and WRMR = 0.862. Standardized factor loadings ranged from 0.484 to 0.976. The ASEBA TRF was used to gather information about a teacher's perception of problem behaviors in the classroom. Information was gathered for two groups: children of Mexican and children of Mexican American mothers residing in south Texas. An ANOVA determined that teachers observed a statistically significant difference (p = .04, d = 0.37) in happiness between groups with children born of Mexican origin mothers and rated as less happy than their peers born to Mexican American mothers. Children did not differ in other measures of behavior. The students resided in a primarily Mexican American/Mexican community, which could have impacted the results. In addition, the sensitive nature of the study may have impacted the low return rate. Implications of the study and their impact on education and immigrant mental health are discussed.