Differential predictors of subjective well-being in a Latino clinical sample

Nerina Garcia, Fordham University


Given the dramatic changes in the United State's demographics, it is important to understand culture's contribution to the therapeutic dyad. However, Latino/as continue to be underrepresented in research. This study's objective was to expand the information available on Latino/as, specifically whether certain personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience) from the Five Factor Model (FFM), Psychological Mindedness (PM) and Acculturation predict Subjective Well-Being (SWB). One hundred Clinical Latinos were recruited at a New York City public hospital from outpatient clinics before their first therapy session, 77 were female. They were administered three independent variable measures, the BFI (FFM), Psychological Mindedness Scale and the AMAS-ZABB (U.S. and Latino competence composite variable comprised of three subscales each), as well as demographic information. The two dependent variable measures of SWB were the SOS-10-E and the PGWBS. A hierarchical regression was conducted for each dependent measure (SOS-10-E & PGWBS). First, a regression analysis was done regressing the dependent variable of SWB on the independent variables of FFM (Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness to Experience), PM, the two dimensions of acculturation, and an interaction variable of the two acculturation competence dimensions. The first step controlled for the demographic variable, number of years in U.S., the independent variables were each entered as separate steps. The change in R-square between each step revealed that the stable FFM traits of Neuroticism and Openness to Experience predict SWB, with PM contributing beyond the effect of the FFM. Acculturation did not significantly predicted SWB. A step-wise regression evaluated the contribution the AMAS-ZABB Acculturation subscales might have upon SWB, upon examination of the beta weights only the Latino Language competence subscale significantly contributed to the prediction of SWB. These findings indicate that low Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, and high Psychological Mindedness predict higher SWB among a Clinical Latino sample. Being competent in Spanish might provide a protective effect against distress, but failed to provide support for a significant effect of biculturalism predicting SWB. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Personality|Hispanic Americans

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Nerina, "Differential predictors of subjective well-being in a Latino clinical sample" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3301437.