UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

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Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity


BACKGROUND: US Latinos report high levels of emotional distress. Having positive familial and friend social support buffers emotional distress among US Latinos, but thus far no research has been done on social support and ataque de nervios in that population, or on social strain and emotional distress.

METHODS: This paper assesses social support and strain across three relationship types (partner, family, and friends) with three measures of emotional distress (depression, anxiety, and ataque de nervios). The sample for partner, family, and friend support included 508 Latino adults 21 and older. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the association of social support and strain with each outcome.

RESULTS: As all social support types increased, the odds of emotional distress symptoms decreased. Conversely, as each unit of partner and family strain increased, the odds of emotional distress symptoms increased. Increased friend strain was associated with greater odds of depressive and anxiety symptoms only.

CONCLUSION: Social support in all three network types (partner, family, and friend) was associated with a decrease in the odds of emotional distress, assessed as symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ataque de nervios.


Ataque de Nervios, Emotional distress, Latinos, Social networks, Social strain, Social support

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

DOI of Published Version



Lerman Ginzburg S, Lemon SC, Romo E, Rosal M. Social support and strain and emotional distress among Latinos in the northeastern United States. BMC Psychol. 2021 Mar 7;9(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s40359-021-00544-3. PMID: 33678184; PMCID: PMC7938605. Link to article on publisher's site

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Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC psychology

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.