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Ramos, E. Khademi, M. Boscan, D. (2015). Dimensions of Depression in Mexican Americans: The Role of Attachment Style. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(4):NP21-NP27.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4):NP21-NP27

Dimensions of Depression in Mexican Americans: The Role of Attachment Style

Erika Ramos, Mojgan Khademi and Deisy Boscan

Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans together make up one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States. In 2011, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics of Mexican origin accounted for 11 percent of the U.S. population. For the purposes of this study, we focus on a large subset of this demographic: those who have come directly from Mexico and have been living in the U.S. most of their lives or who were born in the United States of Mexican-born parents. Immigration and being of recent immigrant descent produce transitions that can be associated with numerous problems throughout the life span, depression being the most common (Mendes de Leon and Markides 1988), but also including anxiety, substance abuse, behavioral problems at home, work, and school, perceived or actual discrimination, and negative expectations of the future (Vega and Alegría 2001). Mexican Americans have a higher rate of depression (6.3%) than non-Hispanic white individuals (4.8%) (National Institute of Mental Health 2011). Despite this statistic, the subtypes of depression, notably anaclitic and introjective (Blatt 1974), have not been well studied among this population.

Anaclitic depression, also called dependency, is a depression focused mainly on interpersonal issues, such as helplessness and feelings of loss and abandonment. Introjective depression, also called self-criticism, is a depression arising from a harsh, punitive superego and is focused primarily on concerns about self-worth, feelings of failure, and guilt. The present study explored the depressive experience of the Mexican population from a developmental perspective, focusing on Blatt's psychoanalytic dimensions of depressive experience.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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