Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Marie Stacciarini
College of Nursing
"I became involved in research because of my inquisitive nature. I am very passionate about expanding my knowledge, especially when it comes to topics that are not well understood. Doing research is exhilarating and I am so excited to see what unknown information we can uncover."
- Socially Isolated Latinos
- Baby Gators
- Holy Cross Hospital
- Middle School Soccer Coach
Hobbies and Interests
Analyzing Social Network Systems to Promote Mental Health among Rural Latino Communities
Latino immigrants make up the largest minority group in the United States (Ennis, Rios-Vargas & Albert, 2011), yet are constantly plagued by social isolation. Promoting mental health among rural Latinos is especially important because of the difficulty they experience accessing healthcare services not only because of geographic isolation but also because of lack of health insurance and lack of bilingual/bicultural services. Social isolation among rural Latinos involves psychosocial, linguistic and cultural factors as well as physical separation from other people. These factors act as pervasive stressors that increase the risk of poor mental health and are significantly related to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, intimate partner violence among adults (Hiott, Grzywacz, Davis, Quandt, & Arcury, 2008) and suicidal ideation in adolescents (Chang, Sanna, & Hirsch, 2010). The latter explains why mental health promotion among rural Latinos has become a priority.
Understanding the social network system among rural Latinos is crucial for the promotion of mental health among this population. Previous research indicates that Churches are usually the main center of social integration in rural Latino communities and play a significant role in the social network system of rural areas. Family is also a central aspect in Latino culture and therefore to promote well-being the primary focus must be on the family. Dr. Stacciarini (mentor) is working on a main study that will further our understanding of Latino’s living in rural areas and will provide vital information needed to develop an intervention that will successfully address social isolation among Latino population in rural areas. The purpose of the proposed study is to examine data from Dr. Stacciarini’s research on social isolation among rural Latinos and describe their social network systems. This proposed research has two specific aims:Describe the evidence on social network systems and how it relates to the mental health among rural Latinos and describe network systems within the rural Latinos in Levy County, Fl.