August 14, 2004
Hispanic families in the United States face family stress and economic hardships unique to their culture.
Immigrants and their families are challenged by language and cultural barriers, economic hardship and lack of education, experts say.
These psychological issues are the topic of an upcoming Scottsdale conference, "Strengthening Psychology Through Latino Family Values," sponsored by the National Latina/o Psychological Association.
"When you’re working with immigrants, (you see) how people make those adjustments, managing the stress that they face, the economic stress based on having enough education, and family separation," said Patricia Arredondo, an Arizona State University professor and president of the group.
The 25-year-old national association is a network for working Hispanic professionals and students, with an emphasis on meeting psychological needs of Hispanics. Organizers are recruiting graduate and undergraduate students to attend their first national conference Nov. 18-21 at Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road.
Organizers are contacting psychology departments of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona universities, and local community colleges. The event is being publicized through local Spanish language newspapers and upcoming appearances on the Univision cable television channel, said spokeswoman Sonali Gonzalez.
The conference will include research symposiums, panel discussions and networking meetings.
"A number of our presenters have research findings based on the work they’ve done with families . . . in family values and what makes families stay together, how people deal with issues of acculturation," Arredondo said.
Former ASU language professor Jose Maria Burruel of Scottsdale said he has advised Arredondo of needs he sees in the Hispanic community.
"One of the main needs I hope they address is the tension (Hispanics) are put under by people in the community, who want their children to learn English as quickly as possible," Burruel said.
Rejection by non-Hispanic Americans who do not like immigrants also is a psychological stress many Hispanics deal with, Burruel said.
The conference will also link graduate students with their peers and other working professionals, Gonzalez said.
Costs for the conference and preconference workshops vary. For more information, call Gonzalez at: (480) 720-0526.