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Title:An examination of Mexican descent caregivers' reasons for seeking treatment for relatives with severe and persistent mental illness
Author(s):Marquez, Jorge
Director of Research:Ramirez Garcia, Jorge I.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ramirez Garcia, Jorge I.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Berenbaum, Howard; Kral, Michael; Miller, Peggy J.; Shapiro, Constance H.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Family Caregiving
Serious Mental Illness
Mental Health Services
Care Pathways
Abstract:Examining how Latino caregivers of relatives with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) conceptualize their relative’s problems and how their relatives engage and disengage with services is a critical undertaking in light of (a) evidence showing that Latino caregivers have high levels of involvement in the care of their diagnosed relatives, and (b) consistent reports of low usage of mental health services by Latinos. Mental illness conceptualizations and experiences with seeking treatment were examined with a sample of Latino caregivers (n = 17) who were users of services at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). We conducted a stability check of the findings with a second sample of caregivers from community venues (n = 15). Following caregivers’ self-reports in standardized measures, the combined sample had elevated levels of depression and comparable levels of familismo (high), stigma (low), and enculturation (high) when compared to samples of Latino adults and/or caregivers. Qualitative analyses indicated that caregivers played key roles in the initiation and retention of mental health services by their relatives. A large portion of caregivers reported that psychiatric crises, family caregiver support, and early positive experiences with services played an important role in successfully engaging Latinos in services. Findings are particularly significant because: (a) they provide empirical data which are scarce in the literature on service usage processes among Latinos, and (b) qualify the degree to which common explanations, such as familismo and folk beliefs, might be influential in Latinos’ low service usage.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jorge A. Marquez
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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