Becoming Americanized can be depressing

The Mexican-American population in San Antonio is increasingly Americanized, thus depression should be on the increase.

The Jazz Singer, 1927, starring Al JolsonToday's study of the obvious comes from San Antonio, Texas.

Immigrants who are striving actively to acculturate, or "Americanize," are more depressed than those who stay with the old ways.

Low-income women coming to 8 San Antonio health clinics for pregnancy or post-partum services were interviewed during 2003. U.S. born women, or those who asked to be interviewed in English, were far more likely to be depressed.

This is something as anyone familiar with The Jazz Singer, the very first talking picture, should already know. Acculturating immigrants are being pulled in two directions at once.

Given that the women being studied here were all fairly poor, the problems would be more acute. The natural American pressure to "get ahead," to earn more money, hit the plain fact of poverty. Poverty in America is generally depressing.

Still Marivel Davila, the graduate student who conducted the research, voiced concern, noting that the Mexican-American population in San Antonio is increasingly Americanized, thus depression should be on the increase.

Maybe watching an old movie would help.

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