Latinos and Violence: Mental Health Implications and Strategies for Clinicians

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Abstract

This article seeks to identify mental health issues in regard to violence among Hispanics and Latinos relative to other groups in the United States. A review of the literature provides prevalence and incidence rates, population and demographic information, and unique issues in regard to violence for Latinos and Latinas, including in the areas of battering and wife abuse, child and sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and the complicating effects of racial-ethnic discrimination. Aspects of cultural ideology, including the social construction of gender and its relevance to violence, are discussed, as are theoretical explorations of the impact of violence on familism, a major Hispanic cultural value. Finally, therapeutic implications for clinicians are explored, structured by the American Psychological Association (1993) Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations.

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