Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Mario Gil

Second Advisor

Dr. Alfonso Mercado

Third Advisor

Dr. Gladys Maestre


The most prevalent disorders affecting the older adult population worldwide are dementia and depression. Ethnic minorities are disproportionately more likely to be affected by these two distressing and debilitating conditions. Hispanic/Latino older adults encounter numerous psycho-social-cultural factors that influence health behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs in positive and negative ways. Presently, research on the influence of these factors on Hispanic/Latino mental health is highly inconsistent. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between selected psycho-social-cultural factors and the mental health of older Hispanic/Latino adults. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the association between the Hispanic/Latino cultural values of fatalismo and familismo, the psychosocial stressors of feeling isolated, lacking companionship, and feeling left out, and the experience of elevated depressive symptoms was explored. The results guided the development of a culturally adapted intervention for older Hispanic/Latino adults affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, primary caregivers, and close family members.


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