The Relationships Between Loneliness, Social Support, and Resilience Among Latinx Immigrants in the United States

Jane Lee, Jeeyeon Hong, Yuanjin Zhou, Gabriel Robles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Globally, international migrants are at elevated risk for experiencing loneliness due to separation from social networks in their countries of origin. In the United States, the political rhetoric has been particularly exclusionary against Latinx immigrants, exposing them to discrimination and fear of deportation. Such environments may result in heightened levels of social isolation, which may contribute to greater risk of poor mental and physical health outcomes. Latinx immigrants, however, may access social support in their destination communities that buffers against these negative outcomes. This study sought to examine how social support and loneliness shape Latinx immigrants’ abilities to address the challenges related to migration. Multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted with survey data collected from Latinx immigrants in New York City (n = 306). Results revealed that Latinx immigrants with greater social support and less feelings of loneliness were more resilient. Specifically, findings suggest that social support may partially protect against the negative impact of isolation on Latinx immigrants’ capacity to thrive. Clinical social workers who work with immigrant groups may consider how migration during the life course affects immigrants’ social supports and experiences of loneliness. Social work interventions that integrate strategies to increase social support may provide opportunities to address social isolation and other obstacles associated with migration. Such approaches acknowledge loneliness not only as a psychological symptom, but also as a consequence of unfavorable social environments towards immigrant populations. Future research may develop and assess culturally relevant strategies to promote social support and reduce loneliness among marginalized immigrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Immigrants
  • Latinx
  • Loneliness
  • Resilience
  • Social support

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