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: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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)
Title of host publicationMental Health Care for New Hispanic Immigrants
Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Approaches in Contemporary Clinical Practice
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781135795047
ISBN (Print)9780789023087
StatePublished - Apr 15 2013


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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