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Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 232–240 | Cite as

Psychological Distress Behavioral Patterns Among Latinos: We Don’t See Ourselves as Worthless

  • Armando BarragánEmail author
  • Ann-Marie Yamada
  • Tamika D. Gilreath
Original Paper

Abstract

A cross-sectional study of 4921 Latinos from the National Health Interview Survey was conducted to examine behavioral patterns of psychological distress among Latinos. Latent class analysis was used to ascertain psychological distress behavioral profiles among Latinos. Analysis revealed four latent classes of distress, which included moderate psychological distress (13.6%); mild sadness, nervousness, and restlessness (13.0%); high psychological distress (2.8%); and no psychological distress (70.7%). Worthlessness, a widely-accepted dimension of distress, was not a significant behavioral trait. Results from the present study suggest that underlying cultural elements affect the subjective interpretations of symptoms reported by Latinos. These findings highlight distress profiles among Latinos and the possibility of overlooking behaviors that are uniquely indicative of distress, potentially leading to the underreporting of serious psychological distress in this population. Furthermore, these findings shed light on other paradoxical issues impacting the mental health of Latinos.

Keywords

Psychological distress Latino mental health Public health Mental health assessment Culture 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was not obtained by the authors, since the data used in this study is made publically available by the National Center for Health Statistics and does not include identifying information.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Work, College of Social and Behavioral ScienceCalifornia State University, San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA
  2. 2.Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Transdisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research, Department of Health and Kinesiology, College of Education and Human DevelopmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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