Financial Stress Among Latino Adults in California During COVID-19

General Information

Financial Stress Among Latino Adults in California During COVID-19
Luisa Blanco, Vanessa Cruz, Deja Frederick and Susie Herrera
Publication Type
Journal paper
Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy
We study the impact of COVID-19 on stress, and especially on financial stress, among Latino adults in California. We take a mixed methods approach and rely on quantitative and qualitative data for our analysis. We recruited 84 low- and moderate-income (LMI) Latino adults in California through the Understanding America Study (UAS) Internet Panel who also participated in the Mobile Financial Diary (MFD) project, which took place during 2018 − 2019. We analyze data about personal experiences during COVID-19 in October 2020 and compare this to data collected during the period from August to October 2018. Our study portrays the experiences of California Latino adults who were predominantly born in the USA and are likely to be working and speak English. We also observe that a large percentage of our participants had health insurance and relatively high levels of educational attainment. We find contradictory results from our quantitative measures, where one of our indicators of financial behavior and well-being showed a significant increase (Financial Health Score), and the other (Financial Well-Being Scale) showed a significant decrease during COVID-19. Anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ) measures show no significant changes during COVID-19 in comparison to 2018. Nonetheless, our qualitative data analysis shows that many of our participants were experiencing major stressors during the pandemic associated with labor market experiences and family circumstances. In our qualitative data analysis, we also observe that women seemed to have been affected the most by the pandemic.