Concepts of mental health and mental illness in older Hispanics

Cathy S. Berkman, Peter J. Guarnaccia, Naelys Diaz, Lee W. Badger, Gary J. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The effect of cultural context in symptom expression and interpretation among older Hispanics, and how they experience psychological distress are not well-understood. We use the illness representation model to learn about older Puerto Ricans' and Dominicans' conceptions and causes of positive mental health, the causes of emotional problems, the conceptions and causes of depression and anxiety, the distinction between depression and anxiety, and the relationship between age and depression. Greater understanding of the meaning of symptoms and syndromes of depression and anxiety might help to define more culturally-sensitive mental health treatments and service delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-85
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Refugee Services
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2005


  • Mental health
  • Mental illness
  • Older Hispanics
  • Symptom meaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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