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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chronic Stress Among Latino Day Laborers


Latino day laborers endure many hardships as they struggle to adjust as an immigrant community in the United States. This study sought to identify the extent of chronic stress reported by day laborers and the factors associated with stress. 725 Latino day laborers were interviewed. The most reported sources of stress were having immigration-related problems, not having enough money to cover basic needs, having no savings and having work hours change for the worse. Higher chronic stress was associated with homelessness (p < .001) and HIV-related risk behaviors in the previous twelve months (p < .05). In addition, chronic stress was found to be higher among respondents reporting incomes of $5,000 to $10,000 (p = 0.007) and still higher among respondents reporting incomes greater than $10,000 (p < 0.001) compared to those in the lowest income level. Lower chronic stress was associated with having a partner (p < .05) or being single (p = .001) compared to being married. Addressing the stress experienced by day laborers is necessary to prevent potential negative health and mental health consequences among this population.

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