Discuss traditional Hispanic values, characteristics, behavior patterns, and implications for therapy. Hispanic children are the fastest growing youth population. Family tradition is an important aspect of life for Hispanic Americans (Sue & Sue, 2008, pg. 377). A basic feature of the Hispanic/Latino American family is the extended family, which plays a major role in each family member’s life. Strong bonds and frequent interaction among a wide range of kin is important. Grandparents, parents, and children may live in the same household or nearby and they visit each other frequently. Cooperativeness is highly stressed and placing the needs of the family ahead of individual concerns is a must. This aspect of Hispanic/Latino family life has led to the erroneous conclusion that the family impedes individual achievement and advancement. Observers of the Hispanic/Latino American culture must distinguish between being cooperative and respectful and being docile and dependent. Generally speaking, Hispanic/Latino American children and adolescents learn to show respect for authority, the patriarchal family structure and extended family members. Hispanic/Latino American children learn early the importance of a deep sense of family responsibility, rigid definitions of sex roles, respectful and reverent treatment of elderly, and the male’s position of respect and authority in the family. Although some of the male’s authority appears to be relaxing as the woman’s role is redefined, women in the Hispanic/Latino American culture continue to occupy a subordinate position. Fathers have prestige and authority and sons have more and earlier independence than daughters. Hispanic/Latinos value the extended family structure and interaction in their daily lives. Parents often arrange for godparents for the child, demonstrating the value Hispanic/Latinos place on adults other than the immediate parents. These compadres also have a right to give advice and...
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