Factors Contributing to Depression in Latinas of Mexican Origin Residing in the United States: Implications for Nurses

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Latinas experience more depression and are less likely to receive mental health support than White women or African American women.

OBJECTIVE

This article synthesizes the research on depression in adult Latinas of Mexican origin residing in the United States.

STUDY DESIGN

MEDLINE (PubMed), The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PsycINFO databases for the years 2000 through 2008 were searched using the keywords Latina, Latino, Hispanic, Mexican American, Mexican immigrant, women, and depression.

RESULTS

The process of acculturation and associated stressors may have a negative effect on the mental health of women of Mexican origin residing in the United States. Separation from family, harmful interpersonal relationships, unmet economic needs, conflict, and isolation may contribute to depression in this population.

CONCLUSIONS

More research is needed on the influence of family and economic strain as well as the effectiveness of assessments and interventions for depression in Mexican and Mexican American women, especially for those living in emerging Latina/o immigrant communities.

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