Mexican-Americans, Depression Examined
Memo Uribe gives face to a recent study that found older Mexican-Americans are less likely to show symptoms of depression if they live in neighborhoods with a large proportion of other Mexican-Americans.
"There's an old dicho (proverb), 'Mejor salud que dinero,'" he said. "It's better to have good health than money. My family and I are blessed and especially thank God for that."
Uribe is poor and didn't have enough money to buy Christmas presents for his family of eight this year, but the 63-year-old Mexican-American says he's happy.
published in the current issue of the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health
also suggests that their comparatively high rates of employment, family structures and residential stability make them less prone to depression than other ethnic groups.
Glenn Ostir and Karl Eschbach, two of the study's authors who teach at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas, said their research specifically suggests that Mexican-Americans may have advantages when it comes to psychological health.
The authors did the study to better understand the relationship between Mexican-American culture and health. An estimated 109 New Mexicans were among the 2,710 Mexican-Americans involved in the research.
The study looked at the association between neighborhood poverty, the percentage of Mexican-Americans in those neighborhoods and the depressive symptoms of Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Researchers selected counties with a Mexican-American population of at least 6.6 percent and then targeted areas with older Mexican-Americans. In-home interviews were also conducted.
Dora Wang, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico who specializes in cultural psychological studies, said she wasn't surprised by the study's conclusions. Wang said the findings may suggest alternatives to medicine when it comes to depression, like family support and spirituality.
"In general, Anglos tend to think more about depression," Wang said. "Whereas Hispanics will typically just tell me, 'Times are tough, life is hard,' or they tell me they're just 'nervioso' (nervous).
"Their priorities are typically family, spirituality and religion. And these priorities seem to lend balance to stress in their lives and uplift their spirits."
Diana Sifuentes, who works as an attendant at an Albuquerque laundry, said she isn't afraid to admit that from time to time she has money problems. She knows that even though the majority of her family lives in California, they'll be there for her to lend emotional or financial support should she really need it.
"I have four brothers and one sister," she said. "And we're always there for each other."
if your not for us your against us- George W. Relected president.