Working with Hispanic Families During the Perinatal Period and Early Childhood

  • Sarah Johnson-Cardona
  • Sarah Caldera-Wimmer
  • Trevalova Augustin
  • Maria X. Maldonado-MoralesEmail author


This chapter discusses clinicians working with families in the United States with clients who identify themselves as Hispanic, Latinos/Latinx, or from Latin America. The chapter focuses primarily on the experience of immigrants and working with young children, men, and women in the perinatal period. The chapter emphasizes the difficulties faced by undocumented immigrants, the process of migration, or seeking refugee or asylum status. These families experience numerous stressors such as “living underground,” in fear of the police of immigration authorities, the experience of deportation, fragmentation of the family, and chronic insecurity. The children and families encounter difficulties with access to clinical care and mistrust of health facilities and official authorities. As their children grow up in the new country, there may be a feeling of alienation between the beliefs and values of the parents and those of their children. This may extend even to a language barrier between parents who speak mostly Spanish and children whose primary language becomes English. There may be a cultural clash between the traditional practices in families from Latin America and the recommendations endorsed by pediatric and nursing personnel in hospital settings. Parents may feel that their practices are devalued and seen as backward or ignorant.


Latino families Familism Machismo Hispanic identity Undocumented worker Deportation Family fragmentation Latino refugee Witchcraft Evil eye Magical influences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Johnson-Cardona
    • 1
  • Sarah Caldera-Wimmer
    • 2
  • Trevalova Augustin
    • 3
  • Maria X. Maldonado-Morales
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Latino Outreach Center at SSM St. Mary’sSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Mental Health Services, Kingdom HouseSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Social Policy Center for Immigrant FamiliesSt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.Trauma and Grief Center Texas Childrens HospitalHoustonUSA

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