Describe at least three culture-bound illnesses among Hispanics.

Describe at least three culture-bound illnesses among Hispanics.
Assignment: Hispanic American Population

Hispanic and Latino American Populations
Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. —Cesar Chavez

Key Concepts

Familismo Respeto Hispanic paradox Susto Mal de ojo Evil eye Empacho Curandero(a) Santeria Orishas Espiritismo

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Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Provide an overview of the social and economic circumstances of Hispanics in the United States.

2. Provide an overview of Hispanic beliefs about the causes of illness.

3. Describe at least three culture-bound illnesses among Hispanics.

4. Describe Hispanics’ health risk behaviors and common illnesses.

5. List at least six tips for working with Hispanic populations.

Introduction Predating the establishment of the United States, Hispanic peoples founded communities in land now part of the United States. These communities were based on the tradition of strong family relationships. Building on a general framework of respect and Catholic beliefs, there is a sense of class and hierarchy within Hispanic families. There is also a tradition of integrating others into their community through understanding and the development of rapport between friends and business
associates. These factors contribute to a community that looks to both modern medicine and traditional practices within a context of cohesive families and mutual support.

In this chapter, we begin by clarifying terminology and provide a brief discussion about the history and current information about Hispanics in the United States. We then provide information about general Hispanic beliefs related to health and illness and discuss in more detail beliefs about specific health issues and events, such as pregnancy. We end the chapter with information about culture-bound illnesses, healing traditions and healers, risk factors and disease prevalence, and tips for working with this population.

Terminology The Hispanic American population is composed of people who come from as many as 20 different countries. The well-known terms Latin American, Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano derive from various geopolitical and linguistic categorizations of this diverse group of people.

Latin America includes all the countries in the Americas that speak languages derived from Latin, which include Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The term Latino refers to everyone from Latin America and therefore includes, for example, people from Brazil (who speak Portuguese). The term Hispanic (derived from the Spanish word Hispano) refers to an ethnic group who share a culture derived from the Spanish. In the United States, this term gained acceptance when it was picked up by the government and used in forms and on the census to identify people with a Spanish heritage.

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