Contribution to Book
Oxford University Press
Cultural Considerations in Latino American Mental Health
Latino youth are a growing, dynamic presence within most U.S. communities. Over the past decade, the number of Latino children has increased at a higher rate than any other ethnic group, and it is projected that by 2035, one in three children will be of Latino descent (National Council of La Raza, 2011). Many of these youth thrive and experience well-being, while others are faced with challenges imposed by discrimination and limited opportunities and access to resources. While adolescence is a unique developmental period of identity exploration and discovery for all youth, Latino adolescents in particular may face additional challenges as a result of their ethnic minority status and how they are viewed by others in U.S. society (Edwards & Lopez, 2006; Vazquez Garcia, Garcia Coll, Erkut, Alarcón, & Tropp, 2000). To support Latino youth in light of the challenges they may face, mental health professionals must understand their unique cultural contexts and identities. One aspect of identity, acculturation, has been identified as a prominent variable that is related to mental health outcomes and behaviors among Latino youth. In this chapter, definitions and models of acculturation are described, as well as research about the relationship between acculturation orientation and well-being. Finally, a case study is provided to illustrate some of the concerns that a Latino adolescent might present in therapy based on his level of acculturation and life experiences.
Edwards, Lisa M., "Latino Adolescents and Acculturation" (2015). College of Education Faculty Research and Publications. 536.
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