Contributions to Depression in Latina Mothers With and Without Children With Retardation: Implications for Caregiving

Jan Blacher, Steven Lopez, Johanna Shapiro, and Judith Fusco

Culture matters. Although this idea has become axiomatic for students of human behavior, most research on families and mental retardation has not, in fact, considered cultural influences at all. Our interest here is in how families are affected by, and cope with, mental retardation in the Hispanic or Latino culture of the American Southwest. Such attention to culture is long overdue, especially given the service needs of this rapidly growing minority group. Recent statistics indicate that in California, Latinos accounted for half of the state’s total population growth (State of California, 1994).

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