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August 2021

Semin Adolesc Med. 1987 Jun; 3(2): 99-108.

Communicating with adolescents from culturally varied backgrounds: a model based on Mexican-American adolescents in south Texas.

Wood PR, Zeltzer LK, Cox AD.

Health care delivery to Mexican-American adolescents requires knowledge of the general health needs of adolescents, as well as culturally determined beliefs about health and illness. Specific concepts about the cause and treatment of a variety of symptoms may cause some Mexican-American families to seek help from parallel systems of health care (i.e., the curandera and the physician). By understanding the family's beliefs about the problem, the physician can incorporate both systems to enhance a positive outcome. The physician needs to be aware of the extent to which the family both suffers with the ill adolescent patient and contributes to the acquisition of the patient's health. Differences in the extent of acculturation between adolescents and their parents may intensify the common parent-adolescent conflicts seen as a developmental phenomenon. As with any adolescent patient, a thorough history will help to assess the problem and will provide clues as to the best methods for intervention.

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