Mexican American Psychology
Social, Cultural, and Clinical Perspectives
by Mario A. Tovar
March 2017, 192pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4147-7
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4148-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

How do the distinct characteristics of Mexican American culture affect the strategies of medical practitioners, psychologists, counselors, and clinicians who serve them?

Providing in-depth coverage of the Mexican American population from social, cultural, and psychological (clinical) perspectives, this book promotes the understanding of cultural practices and sociological characteristics of this important ethnic group.

There are now more than 32 million Mexican Americans living in the United States. As a result, the odds that a clinician will work with a member of this population—one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States—is extremely high. Understanding the culture, society, psyche, acculturation, assimilation, and linguistics specific to Mexican Americans, as well as their crises and appropriate interventions, is imperative to provide counseling/therapy services and culturally sensitive assessments.

In this book, author Mario Tovar explains how Mexican American history and society affects the needs of this group and how services to Mexican Americans require adjustments as a result. Tovar documents significant differences among Mexican Americans depending on whether they are documented or undocumented immigrants, and on their place of origin—rural versus urban areas of Mexico, and northern versus southern Mexico, for example. Readers will understand how the region of the United States in which Mexican Americans settle can influence the development of certain traits for them and learn about mental and physical health care practices common to Mexican Americans, including folk medicine and “healers” who often include grandmothers and elder neighbors.


  • Addresses the characteristics of members of this large and growing group of Americans as distinct from the generalized ethnic group of "Latino Americans"
  • Covers long-time U.S. residents and recent immigrants from Mexico as well as second and later generation Mexican Americans
  • Provides extensive information about the Mexican American population from different perspectives that gives readers better insight and understanding about this important ethnic group
  • Promotes cultural sensitivity when working with Mexican Americans in different settings
  • Describes specific clinical strategies that can be effective when working with Mexican Americans
Mario A. Tovar, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Texas and director of psychology services at the Rio Grande State Center, an inpatient psychiatric facility located in South Texas. He is contributing author of a chapter titled "Mexican-American Medicine: History, Roots, and Key Maladies," which can be found in volume one of Praeger's Multicultural Approaches to Health and Wellness in America.


Outstanding Academic Title, 2017—Choice, January 1, 2018


"Well researched and documented, the text contains a multitude of references and a thorough index. Above all, it is a timely, important contribution and invaluable for those training to work with Mexican American populations in clinical settings. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals."—Choice, September 1, 2017
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