Domestic Violence and

Research on the prevalence of the social and cultural factors that affect the occurrence of marital violence among Latinos is limited. A few studies have sampled Latinos in sufficient numbers to estimate prevalence, but rates have varied significantly because of differences in measurements and sample populations. Furthermore, although some work has measured acculturation, instruments on domestic violence that reliably measure cultural beliefs and norms are scarce. Despite this lack of research,...

Cultural Issues in Substance Abuse Treatment

The literature on the subject of substance abuse among Hispanic Americans suggests that cultural factors play a prominent role in initiating and maintaining drug use (Kail 1993). A distinctive characteristic of Hispanic culture is the importance of the family. Familismo is the trait that describes the family as the center of social support and characterizes it as a source of solidarity, cohesive-ness, and emotional closeness (Sanchez Mayers and Kail 1993). Family members are imbued with a...

Hyperlipidemia

The prevalence of high serum cholesterol levels (> 240 mg dL), based on combined data for 1988-1994 NHANES III, appeared to be similar for white and Mexican American men (17.8 for both groups) and higher for white women than for Latina women (20.2 vs. 17.5 ) (National Center for Health Statistics 2000). Compared with whites, Latinos also were less likely to report having ever been told by a doctor that their blood cholesterol is high (24.5 vs. 30.4 ) (Division of Adult and Community Health,...

Psychiatric Clinical Considerations

Stigma plays a major role in the treatment of mental illness in Cuba and among Cuban Americans culturally, the connotation of being crazy is not well accepted (Bernal 1985). In Cuba, psychiatry and mental illness are primarily associated with the Mazorra, a hospital where both the environment and the care were abysmal until the early 1960s (Camayd-Freixas and Uriarte 1980). As a result, many Cubans and Cuban Americans prefer to seek psychiatric care from family doctors (Rogg and Coney 1980)....

Psychological Consequences of War Trauma

Individuals who themselves were victims or whose family members were victims of the political violence in El Salvador frequently manifest various forms of psychological problems after arrival and settlement in the United States. Victims of torture often have the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They include severe depression, guilt, nightmares, flashbacks, hy-peralertness, insomnia, suicidal tendencies, and withdrawal. The psychiatric evaluation of Central Americans conducted...

Assessment of Language

The first step in the assessment of the Latino patient is to determine what language the person most effectively and accurately uses to communicate. Pre- ciado and Henry (1997) have classified Latinos into four categories according to their language dominance 1) monolingual English speakers, 2) English-dominant bilinguals, 3) Spanish-dominant bilinguals, and 4) monolingual Spanish speakers. It is important for clinicians to evaluate language fluency and not depend solely on the reliability of...

Prevention and Health Screening

The relatively young median age of Latinos represents a tremendous opportunity for interventions to increase preventive health practices and to reduce behaviors that increase risk of disease and premature death. Such interventions could result in reductions in chronic illness and morbidity and could eventually lead to decreased mortality. Preventive interventions must be tai lored to meet the specific needs of Latino subgroups and to make full use of the community's resources, including the...

Peruvians in the United States

The migratory patterns of Peruvians toward the United States do not resemble those of Mexico, Central America, or other countries in the northern part of South America. Peru is too distant for significant waves of immigration to the United States. Nevertheless, the trend of immigration to the United States seems to be growing, particularly among young people who want to further their education and training or, eventually, to stay. Also, the massive domination of American popular culture through...