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Social Work


Kenneth Larimore


As the elderly population continues to increase in the United States, so does the concern of major depressive disorder. Despite the need to forcefully recognize and address depression among this age group, efforts have been docile and passive; many elderly individuals continue to go undiagnosed. With the increase of Latino population within the past and upcoming decades and with studies showing that elderly Latinos appear to live longer than non-Latinos, it is critical that differences in treatment interventions be explored. This study aimed to explore the use of familismo (intense importance and attachment the Latino culture places on nuclear and extended family) as a coping skill to manage major depressive disorder among Latino women between the ages of 50 and 75. Purposeful sampling served as the method for selecting individuals who meet inclusion criteria. Eight individuals participated in the study. Sixteen interview questions were asked to explore family inclusion in treatment and the influence of concepts of familismo on how selected individuals cope with major depressive disorder. To promote health and well-being, 7 participants utilized emotion-focused coping and family inclusion throughout their treatment. One participant adhered to the use of familismo by not disclosing diagnosis to family. Exploration of participants indicated that Latino women utilize emotion focused coping to implement concepts of familismo to cope with major depressive disorder. This study was an effort to inform mental health professionals on effective interventions.

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