The ten leading causes of death among the Hispanic American population are mostly in line with the ten leading causes of death among all Americans. It is more surprising what causes from the American list are missing from the Hispanic American list – stroke, Alzheimer's Disease, and suicide (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, 2009, 2010). Considering that sixty percent of deaths in the United States are attributable to behavioral factors, circumstances in one's social system, and what and who a person is exposed to in their environment (Nash, Reifsnyder, Fabius, & Pracilio, 2011), it is evident that health care providers must investigate these aspects in order to ...view middle of the document...
She considered herself to be Hispanic American. When she talked about her culture she spoke of strength, dignity, honor, and respect, beautiful women, and handsome men.
Elizabeth was born in Fresnillo; Zacatecas, Mexico and has been in the United States for eighteen years, since 1996. All her ancestors are also from Mexico. Ancestors have a very special place in one's memories. The lives of ancestors are honored and their birthdays are still celebrated every year. Elizabeth noted that she has had and continues to have a close relationship with her siblings. She feels that her father was her biggest influence as a child. When Elizabeth spoke of her family, it was apparent this was a significant subject to her. Although there was a distinct seriousness in her voice, her eyes sparkled and she smiled.
I asked Elizabeth some questions regarding her view of those in the Hispanic culture. Because of the importance of tradition, she does not feel that Hispanics are very willing to try new experiences, rather they are pretty 'set in their ways'. She also thinks that rules are more clear in the Hispanic culture as people in the Western culture often 'bend the rules'. Tolerance of people's actions is more prevalent in Western culture also and Hispanic people are compassionate and cooperative and very overemotional, according to Elizabeth. She also believes that those from the Hispanic culture were more comfortable 'playing it by ear' rather than sticking to a set schedule.
I felt it important to understand some of the Hispanic culture's values. When asked, Elizabeth rated family and religion as the first and second most important values in her culture. She qualified that statement by stating that tradition is everything and everything is based off of tradition. This sense was the same when she lived in Mexico and when she lived here in the United States. Juarez, Ferrell, and Borneman (1998) would seem to agree as they explain that respecting family considerations over individual or community needs is a strong, consistent value in the Hispanic culture. Elizabeth feels that money is probably the least important value in her culture and mentioned that she enjoys visiting family, shopping and dining out when she has free time. The fact that people and relationships take priority over timely completion of tasks was another value of her culture Elizabeth felt was different than Western culture.
The importance of these values was also evident in Elizabeth's answers to some additional questions. It was quite apparent that rules are rules in the Hispanic culture. Child-bearing out of wedlock and leading a homosexual life were two activities she mentioned that are not accepted in her culture. When discussing marriage and divorce, Elizabeth remarked that once a person is married, they must carry whatever burdens come along with that. Spouses are deeply respected and divorce is not approved of in her culture. In...