Cultural Perceptions and Practices Surrounding Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing in Northern Mexico (BIENESTAR)

Janis H. Jenkins (PI)


In this study, our interdisciplinary team is currently collecting data to identify cultural conceptions of mental health and patterns of help-seeking in the northern Mexico region.  The research seeks an empirical understanding of contemporary knowledge and practices surrounding emotional distress and behaviors regarded as problematic.  Working with parents, teachers, and service providers, we are investigating (1) the conceptualization of wellbeing and the identification of problems of emotional/mental health; (2) decision-making for help-seeking services; and (3) the socio-emotional features that contribute to vulnerability and resilience in processes of recovery.   Analysis of the ethnographic data thus far suggests that adolescents struggle with everyday violence and hardship and that can be associated with feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and moderate levels of depression.


Relevant Publications:

  • Olga Olivas, Sol D'Urso, and Janis H. Jenkins. (2017). Adolescence and Global Mental Health: Cultural Perceptions of Emotional Wellbeing in Tijuana, Mexico. Neos9(1): 5-7. Publication of the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group.