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Guadalupan Devotion as a Moderator of Psychosocial Stress among Mexican Immigrants in the Rural Southern United States

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Abstract

This study considers how shared devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe among Mexican immigrants in rural Mississippi buffers the effects of immigration stress. Rural destinations lacking social services can quickly compound the already stressful experience of immigration. Guadalupe devotion provides a way of coping with the daily life stressors of immigration. We test the hypothesis that high consonance in the cultural model of Guadalupan devotion will moderate the adverse health effects of immigration stress. Results indicate that as exposure to immigration stressors increased, well-being decreased among those with low consonance, while the effect was eliminated in those with high consonance. Findings demonstrate the advantage of expanding research on coping to incorporate complex models that consider religious and secular elements and also illustrate how a master symbol, characterized as a cultural model of coping with limited local distribution, yields health effects dissimilar to the mediation normally associated with consonance.

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