The Prevalence and Role of Avoidance Coping Methods for Latinos in the United States
Stevenson, Tiffani Debra
Leslie, Leigh A
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Current research concerning Latinos in the United States has indicated that they are at a higher risk for mental illness (e.g., PTSD) than other racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of this study was to understand the possible function a culturally normative coping style plays in the occurrence of depression for Latinos when compared to other racial/ethnic groups. The prevalence of avoidance coping methods and the relationship of depression and avoidance coping was examined for a sample (N=429) of Latino (n=129) White (n=150) and Black (n=150) clients. Results indicated that the frequency with which Latinos engaged in avoidance coping was no different than other groups. However, Black participants were significantly more likely to use avoidance coping that White participants. Furthermore, the use of defensive avoidance coping was linked to high depression; however there was no race/ethnicity by avoidance coping interaction. The empirical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.