Secondary Traumatic Stress, Financial Stress, and the Role of Coping in Understanding Southeast Asian American Mental Health

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This study advances the literature by jointly examining two stressors (secondary traumatic stress and financial stress) hypothesized to impact the mental health of the Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community and focused on the experiences of generational stress with SEAAs. This study also examined how coping moderated the relationship between stress and mental health. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to test whether secondary traumatic stress, financial stress, direct and indirect coping (entered in Step 1), and the interactions between stress and coping (entered in Step 2) predicted mental health. Participants included 134 self-identified 1.5-generation and second-generation SEAA adults who completed an online survey. Consistent with emerging research, increased financial stress and secondary traumatic stress significantly predicted poorer mental health. Further, indirect coping significantly predicted poorer mental health. Contrary to expectations, none of the moderation effects were significant. Post-hoc analyses were also conducted. Limitations and implications for future research and practice are addressed.