Stressed and helping: the relations among acculturative stress, gender, and prosocial tendencies in Mexican Americans

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



*Acculturation; Adolescent; Adult; Altruism; Emigrants and Immigrants; Empathy; Female; *Gender Identity; *Helping Behavior; Humans; Male; Mexican Americans; Questionnaires; *Social Behavior; Social Identification; Stress, Psychological; Students; Young Adult


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Available evidence suggests that stress is not necessarily linked to negative outcomes and, in fact, may lead to increases in sympathy and helping. In this study, we examined whether acculturative stress was associated with prosocial tendencies in a sample of 148 Mexican American college students (M age = 23.05 years; 99 women). Participants completed measures of acculturative stress, sympathy, and prosocial tendencies. The relations between acculturative stress and prosocial tendencies were generally positive but varied by the type of helping and gender. Higher levels of acculturative stress were linked to greater emotional, dire, compliant, and anonymous prosocial tendencies, as well as with fewer costly (altruistic) prosocial tendencies. Sympathy mediated the relations between acculturative stress and prosocial tendencies for men only.

DOI of Published Version



J Soc Psychol. 2010 Jan-Feb;150(1):34-56. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of social psychology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID