Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 145–162

Beyond familism?: Familism as explicit motive for eldercare among Mexican American caregivers


  • Robert John
    • Minority Aging Research InstituteUniversity of North Texas
  • Rosalva Resendiz
    • Minority Aging Research InstituteUniversity of North Texas
  • Linda W. de Vargas
    • Minority Aging Research InstituteUniversity of North Texas

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006505805093

Cite this article as:
John, R., Resendiz, R. & de Vargas, L.W. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology (1997) 12: 145. doi:10.1023/A:1006505805093


This research explored eldercare among Mexican American primary family caregivers from Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Although these caregiversexpressed feelings of burden, their ethnocultural values of familism placedburden in a broader cultural context in which caregiving was also viewed asan affirmation and fulfillment of core Mexican American cultural values.Mexican American familism includes expressions of family solidarity,ethnocultural determinants of informal caregiving, distrust of culturallyalien institutions (particularly nursing homes), and a desire to care forthe elderly within the family context regardless of the personal cost orconsequences. In contrast to recent research, these findings suggest thatit is premature to dismiss familism as a continuing and central influence inthe lives of Mexican American family caregivers.

Mexican AmericanFamilismCaregivingUrban

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997