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Soc Sci Med. 1989;28(12):1229-38.

Mind, body, and culture: somatization among Hispanics.

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Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.


In this analysis we employ the recently released Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (Hispanic HANES) to investigate the issue of somatization among Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans. In order to do so, we use the physician's assessment as a control, and examine the association between depressive affect and self-perceptions of health for individuals with similar evaluated health levels. The data reveal rather dramatic discrepancies between individuals' assessments of their own health and physicians' evaluations. In addition, the data reveal that, net of the physician's evaluation, individuals' assessments of their overall health status are significantly influenced by their affective states. The data also reveal a strong effect of language of interview on self-assessments of health and depressive affect.

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