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Nurs Clin North Am. 1994 Mar;29(1):65-72.

The Mexican-American migrant farmworker family. Mental health issues.

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  • 1Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis.


This article introduced the Hispanic population of the United States. Three major subgroups were identified: Mexican-American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican. While the relative size and geographic location of each group was identified, the Mexican-American population was considered in greater detail and included the sociopolitical history and culture. The Mexican-American or Chicano migrant farmworker family was next introduced. Their lifestyle, problems, strengths, and needs were discussed. The importance of social support among the mothers was emphasized. Cultural characteristics that influence family life were considered, including religion, familism, male dominance, machismo, the role of the female and children. Culturally sensitive assessment should include evaluation of health, education, income, degree of acculturation, level of participation in traditional culture, length of time in the United States, ethnic identity access to social support, and risk for depression. The need for cultural sensitivity during this process was emphasized, especially the establishment of linguistic abilities and preferences. Finally, successful intervention strategies were introduced. These included nonjudgmental communication and the ability to convey confidence, respect, and genuine affection for the family.

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