Social and family characteristics of Hispanics with epilepsy

Jenny Chong, Kendra Drake, Paul B. Atkinson, Ellen Ouellette, David M. Labiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to determine how acculturation, social support, family emotional involvement, perceived family criticism and stigma are associated with epilepsy self-efficacy and depression. A principal components analysis (PCA) was used to describe the salience of these characteristics within a sample of Hispanics with epilepsy. A total of 50 Hispanic adults of Mexican descent identified in our Epilepsy Clinic participated in this study. The PCA identified four distinct types, two were relatively culture-free, and two were distinctly culturally oriented. The first non-culture affiliated type described a well-adjusted group of individuals that tended to be males with moderate self-efficacy, who received social support, and who were unlikely to have depression or feel stigmatized. The second non-culture affiliated type described a dimension in which family emotional involvement tended to co-occur with perceived criticism. The Anglo-oriented group had a family environment that did not appear to criticize the individual with epilepsy and had good self-efficacy. The Mexican-oriented group had high self-efficacy and was unlikely to have depression. Results suggest that acculturation variables must be taken into consideration among ethnic groups because social, psychological and acculturation variables interact in complex ways. Additionally, it is clear that a diagnosis of epilepsy does not automatically lead to poor quality of life, stigma, or depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Acculturation
  • Epilepsy
  • Family relationship
  • Hispanic
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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