A test of the main-effects, stress-buffering, stress-exacerbation, and joint-effects models among Mexican-origin adults.

Social relationship research among Mexican-origin adults often focuses on the positive exchanges and supportive functions that close relationships provide, with growing attention directed at understanding the less positive side of these relationships. To gain a more nuanced understanding of important social relationships among Mexican-origin adults, we examined both positive (social support) and negative (social undermining) aspects of these relationships, and how they function directly and in interaction with each other and with life stress to contribute to psychological well-being. We tested four social relationships models (main-effects, stress-buffering, stress-exacerbation, and joint-effects) in a sample of 248 (124 women, 124 men) Mexican-origin adults using a cross-sectional design. Multiple regression analyses showed support for the main-effects, stress-buffering, and joint-effects models, and no support for the stress-exacerbation model. Social support, but not social undermining, was directly and positively associated with psychological well-being (main effects). High social support (vs. low social support) buffered against life stress (stress buffering), but in the face of high social undermining (vs. low social undermining) was associated with poorer psychological well-being (joint effects). The results of this study are discussed in the context of the cultural importance of establishing and maintaining strong harmonious relationships among Mexican-origin adults. The findings highlight the prominence of social support, especially from family, in important relationships for adults of Mexican origin, and the simultaneous damaging role that social undermining from these same relationships plays in their psychological well-being. Implications for prevention and intervention programs with Mexican-origin adults are offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)