Fortalezas Familiares Program: Building Sociocultural and Family Strengths in Latina Women with Depression and Their Families

Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
Family Process (Impact Factor: 1.73). 09/2013; 52(3):378-93. DOI: 10.1111/famp.12008
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this article is to describe Fortalezas Familiares (FF; Family Strengths), a community-based prevention program designed to address relational family processes and promote well-being among Latino families when a mother has depression. Although depression in Latina women is becoming increasingly recognized, risk and protective mechanisms associated with children's outcomes when a mother has depression are not well understood for Latino families. We begin by reviewing the literature on risk and protective psychosocial mechanisms by which maternal depression may affect Latino youth, using family systems theory and a developmental psychopathology framework with an emphasis on sociocultural factors shaping family processes. Next, we describe the theoretical basis and development of the FF program, a community-based 12-week intervention for Latina immigrant women with depression, other caregivers, and their children. Throughout this article, we use a case study to illustrate a Latina mother's vulnerability to depression and the family's response to the FF program. Recommendations for future research and practice include consideration of sociocultural processes in shaping both outcomes of Latino families and their response to interventions.

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