The Latino Family
The typical Latino family is close-knit, and is frequently central to one's identity. It extends to include not only aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, but also godparents who may be either relatives or friends, and who take on the special role of co-parents (compadres).
Traditionally, the father assumes an authoritarian role with the mother being submissive and accepting of his dominance, although the average American may have a somewhat exaggerated view of this machismo/marianismo dyad. Elders are greatly respected, and are looked to for counsel and advice. Children are cherished and valued, and are not seen as a burden.
Individuals frequently place great importance on the needs of the family, and will extend emotional and financial support, even when it means personal hardship. Conversely, they rely on relatives in times of need. When health issues arise, the Latino will frequently turn first to the family, and resort to home remedies. It is only with difficulty that they seek outside help. When that happens, it is often desirable to involve the entire family in the treatment plan.
- Dr. Arango-Lasprilla talks about the importance of family in Hispanic culture (YouTube)
- The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues