Empathic family stress as a sign of family connectedness in Haitian immigrants

MarieGuerda Nicolas, Angela Desilva, Kimberly Prater, Elizabeth Bronkoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Research on familial experiences has documented the important role of receiving family support, but has not examined the effects of providing such support. Empathic family stress refers to the stress that individuals experience in response to difficult life circumstances of family members. The current study took a first step in examining the empathic family stress of 134 Haitian immigrants. Results from hierarchical regressions indicate that empathic family stress is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms, but not acculturative stress, for Haitian immigrants. Findings from the study are examined from a strengths-based perspective, where empathic family stress is viewed as a sign of strong family connections among Haitian immigrants. Recommendations are provided for clinicians working with Haitian immigrants to help them experience empathic family stress in a healthy manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Depression
  • Empathic Family Stress
  • Families
  • Haitian
  • Immigrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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