Fatalismo beliefs as a moderator of the relationship between financial stress, depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction among Latinx college students

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2021-08

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Abstract

Latinx students face unique stressors with regards the financial cost of college. This can lead to many Latinx college students experiencing financial stress. Financial stress has been demonstrated to positively correlate with depression, anxiety, and low life satisfaction. While the relationship between financial stress and mental health outcomes is well documented, protective and risk factors against depression, anxiety, and low life satisfaction in the context of financial stress have not been explored among Latinx. Fatalismo is a multidimensional, cultural-based belief system in Latinx culture consisting of predetermination and luck beliefs. The current study explored fatalismo predetermination and luck beliefs as strengthening or weaking the relationship between financial stress and mental health outcomes. The current study sampled Latinx college student between ages 18-25 (n = 362). Regression analyses were run. Three of the nine hypotheses were supported. Financial stress was positively correlated with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Fatalismo luck beliefs moderated the relationship between financial stress and life satisfaction. The interaction between low fatalismo-luck beliefs and financial stress was significant. When financial stress is low, those with low fatalismo-luck beliefs reported high levels of life satisfaction. When financial stress is high, those with low fatalismo-luck beliefs reported lower levels of life satisfaction. This relationship is not present for those with high fatalismo-luck beliefs, which means that fatalismo-luck beliefs are protective for Latinx college students. The direction of this relationship was opposite to how it was hypothesized. The finding that fatalismo beliefs can be protective for specific populations provides further evidence of the need to treat fatalismo beliefs as a multidimensional construct. Other implications of the study are discussed.

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Keywords

Latinx, Latina/o, Latina, Latino, College Students, Financial Stress, Fatalismo, Fatalism, Depression, Anxiety, Life Satisfaction, Hispanic

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