Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Serious Psychological Distress Among Brazilian Immigrants in Boston

Louisa M. Holmes, Enrico A. Marcelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recent migrants to the United States face various stressors, including adjustment to new community norms and practices. To ease this transition, migrant groups have traditionally formed enclaves where they might live in close proximity and access institutions designed to serve their cultural interests. For newer migrant groups, such as Brazilians residing in New England, neighborhood social cohesion may therefore be particularly important for buffering against serious psychological distress. We use representative data from the 2007 Boston Metropolitan Immigrant Health and Legal Status Survey to estimate the association of serious psychological distress with neighborhood-level social cohesion among foreign-born Brazilian adults. We find that serious psychological distress is inversely related to neighborhood social cohesion (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.46, 0.94). Annual earnings were also negatively associated with distress (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.93, 0.99). Our findings suggest that neighborhood social ties may buffer against serious psychological distress for Brazilian migrants in New England.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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