July 27, 2016 10:20 - 11:50

Social network support increases psychological distress among Filipino female domestic workers in Macau

[Speaker] Mendoza, Norman B:1,2
[Co-author] Mordeno, Imelu G:3, Hall, Brian J:2,4
1:University of Macau (Macao), 2:Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, Faculty of Social Sciences, Psychology Department, University of Macau, Macau SAR, Peoples Republic of China (Macao), 3:College of Education, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines (Philippines), 4:Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA (United States of America)

Filipino female domestic workers (FDW) in Macau experience post-migration stressors that contribute to poor mental health. This study evaluated whether family and friend social network support (SNS) modified this relationship. Data were collected from 232 FDWs. Hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to test for moderating effects of social networks. Migration stress was associated with increased symptoms of anxiety, depression somatization, and post-traumatic stress disorder. SNS from family did not predict the four psychological symptoms or modify the association between stress and these symptoms. SNS from friends was positively associated with these symptoms, and significantly moderated the relationship between stress and these symptoms, such that an increase in SNS was associated to higher psychological symptoms. Counterintuitive to the known buffering effects of social networks, the present findings suggest problematic or miscarried support among FDWs social networks. FDWs may not be able to rely on SNS to cope with post-migration stressors.
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