Project Details


The proposed research project addresses two longstanding problems in cross-cultural psychiatric research. In order to interpret standard epidemiological findings in cross-cultural studies, the researcher needs to know the local culture or significant errors will be made in interpreting responses to diagnostic interviews. Research instruments require adaptation to the local culture to measure local categories of mental illness to correlate them with standard diagnostic categories. Without these modifications in cross-cultural psychiatric studies, inaccurate diagnoses will be made and inappropriate assessments of service needs for the population will result. This research project will examine the social and psychological correlates of ataques de nervios ("attacks of nerves"), a culturally defined syndrome of distress common among Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics. Through this study, a new research interview will be developed to measure this syndrome in future epidemiological studies of Hispanic populations. This study is designed to be a model for developing research in cross-cultural psychiatric studies. The specific aims of the proposed study are: 1) To analyze the relationship between reports of ataques de nervios in the Puerto Rican Adult Psychiatric Epidemiology Project - Disaster Study and a series of social, psychological, and health system variables in the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule/Disaster Version; 2) To develop a detailed description of ataques de nervios, the situations that provoke them, and the types of help-seeking patterns people employ through ethnographic interviews with persons who reported an ataque de nervios in the DIS/DS; and 3) To develop a culturally valid interview to measure ataques de nervios to be used along with the DIS in future epidemiological studies with Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics.
Effective start/end date8/1/907/31/95


  • National Institute of Mental Health


  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.