Article

Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 145-162

First online:

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

  • Robert JohnAffiliated withMinority Aging Research Institute, University of North Texas
  • , Rosalva ResendizAffiliated withMinority Aging Research Institute, University of North Texas
  • , Linda W. de VargasAffiliated withMinority Aging Research Institute, University of North Texas

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Abstract

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 American Familism Caregiving Urban