Latinos who consistently use social media are more prone to distress

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Californians who maintain “constant access” to social media through their computers or mobile phones are more likely to experience distress, and Latinos are no exception, reveals a survey released Thursday.

Produced by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) the survey found that more than 25% of Latinos who use social media “almost constantly” have suffered “severe psychological distress” compared to less than 9% of those who do not they use these means permanently.

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which evaluated different aspects of the health of Californians, collected responses from 22,160 adults, 847 adolescents -with parental permission- and 3,009 children through their parents.

For Ninez Ponce, principal investigator at CHIS and director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the data obtained is key to determining policies and laws that favor the well-being of Californians.

“With the unprecedented times we face as we grapple not only with the (COVID-19) pandemic but with racism as a public health crisis, we believe that the actionable information that CHIS provides is essential to reaching the creators of the policies so they can pass laws that support the health and well-being of Californians,” he said.

The analysis also found that having “sex without consent” was another factor that affected the mental health of Latinos in 2019. 7% of Latinos said they had been forced to have sex, which resulted in a deterioration in health mental.

However, Latinos were below average (7.7%) and were less affected than African Americans (9.2%) and non-Hispanic whites (8.9%). Only Asians had lower rates of this type of case (4.7%).

Based on a recent study by the Center that showed that 40.9% of frequent voters have excellent or very good mental health and 40.1% of them did not present psychological distress in the previous year, the survey offered an analysis of the frequency of voting among Californians.

34% of Latino citizens responded that they have “never” or “sometimes” voted in the presidential elections, the second highest rate after Asians with 39% and higher than African Americans (25%) and non-Hispanic whites (18%).

In all, in California, there are 6 million US citizens who have never voted in a state or local election and 2.8 million who have not participated in a presidential election.

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