Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Steven L. Foy

Second Advisor

Dr. William Donner

Third Advisor

Dr. Igor Ryabov


This study represents an attempt to contribute to the identified gap in knowledge towards the effects of machismo on both Latina women and Latino men and how it effects their attitudes towards mental health. The idea that previous research on machismo has been so one-sided, but has revealed that psychological distresses were present and ignored, leaves room for my research to explore how Latina women are affected because they are just as susceptible to psychological distresses as men. By using a research based framework to explain the effects of machismo on both Latina women and Latino men, my study will measure machismo and will explore attitudes on mental health. The Latino family system, which incorporates machista principles and marianismo rules into their child rearing practices facilitates the idea that mental health is just something that does not need to be acknowledged. My study will shed some light on how prominent machismo culture is in today’s society and if it has any effect at all on attitudes pertaining to mental health.

Mental health issues remain among the most highly stigmatized health concerns in today’s society. The expectation to overcome a mental health issue individually may be attributed to the stigma surrounding mental health issues overall. The cultural stigma against mental health issues along with the masculine notion of machismo, a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ (Martinez 2014) individualistic mentality that prizes being strong and taking care of one’s family fuels the hesitation in acknowledging and seeking treatment for mental health conditions. It is surprising that women are absent in all the literature pertaining to mental health and machismo culture. This masculine ideology does not only affect the men in the household, the women, and other members of the family adopt the same mentality, which perpetuates the stigma surrounding mental health.


Copyright 2018 Amanda R. Mercado. All Rights Reserved.

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