This study systematically reviewed the methodology and findings of 19 peer-reviewed studies on the experience of bereavement among widowed Latinos, including risk and protective factors to the health of this vulnerable population. Of these studies, 10 included quantitative data, 3 were qualitative studies, and 6 were narrative reviews. Results emphasized the relevance of cultural beliefs about death, rituals, religion, and Latino values (i.e., familismo, respeto, simpatía, personalismo) as common themes in the included studies, along with expressions of grief (e.g., Ataque de nervios, somatization) that vary by gender and acculturation. Risk factors associated with diminished well-being in this population included being a male, financial strain, cultural stressors, having an undocumented legal status, experiencing widowhood at a younger age, and having poor physical health. Effective coping strategies identified included having adequate social support primarily from family, religion and religious practices, the use of folk medicine, volunteering, and the use of emotional release strategies. Moreover, the results highlight that researches informing the health needs of widowed Latinos in the US is limited, and studies with enhanced methodological rigor are needed to better understand the complex needs of this vulnerable population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology