Characteristics Paper

Topics: Hispanic and Latino Americans, United States, Hispanic Pages: 9 (3008 words) Published: August 29, 2011

Characteristics Paper
Ottia Birl, Jamie Howell, Tomeka Murray, and Ronald Smith
February 28, 2011
Evangelina Alonso, Psy.D

Characteristics Paper
The United States is made up of several different cultural groups. All of theses cultural groups are made up of their own morals, religions, beliefs, and characteristic traits. Team B (Ottia Birl, Jamie Howell, Tomeka Murray, and Ronald Smith) will discuss researched information about the Hispanic culture. This information will include various characteristics of the Hispanic culture, such as, cultural practices, language, family values and morals, etiquette, and eating habits. While discussing the Hispanic culture, the individuals also elaborated on the impact of Hispanic cultural characteristics on the experience of being an American Subculture, the strained relationship between America and Mexico, the growing Hispanic community, the value of Hispanic Americans, application of Hispanic cultural aspects to Traditional Psychological Theory, cultural deficit or disadvantage theory, the effects of racism and oppression, social learning theory and operant conditioning, and implications for Psychological Theory and Practice. Primary Hispanic Cultural Characteristics

Family Values and morals
The Hispanic Americans are families that are closely knitted together and social systems are very important to them (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). With the Hispanic Americans, the family goes over and beyond what constitutes the makeup of the nuclear family (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). The family unit of the Hispanic American doesn’t just consist of the parents and children but the extended members also (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). The primary structure of the family is the father who is the head and then the mother who takes care of the home (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). All other members of the family are morally responsible for supporting and aiding any other member that experience hardships. The hardships include such things as conditions of poor health, unemployment, other financial problems and issues in life (Noble & LaCasa, 1991).

Hispanic Americans have very strong family bonds. It is their common practice to stay with other family members when traveling or moving to another city or state until living arrangements are secured. There is great value and importance placed upon celebrating holidays and special occasions, such as: birthdays, weddings, religious events, and graduations (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Their children are instilled with strong morals that depicts honor as important, having respect for all authority and elderly, and showing good manners (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Furthermore, the Hispanic American takes pride in preserving their cultural language. Therefore, the speaking of Spanish is practiced as common within each family home (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Etiquette

The Hispanic American uses their Spanish language for addressing both formal and non formal events. When participating in non formal setting their conversations are normally loud and fast and many forms of animated bodily gestures are used to express what is meant (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Hispanic Americans place high importance on their appearance and looks being connected to dignity and honor (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). When attending gathering such as: church, social meeting, and parties, formal attire is worn. For non formal occasions, the wearing of jeans and tennis shoes is a common practice (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Hispanics are not time oriented and punctual. It is a common practice to arrive at least thirty minute after the starting of an event. This is considered an acceptable social behavior for them (Noble & LaCasa, 1991). Hispanic American formally greets and leaves one another with a firm handshake. They also embrace each other with a hug and kiss on the cheeks. This practice is observed by women and men, family member...

References: Garza, Y. and Watts, R. E. (2010, Winter). Filial therapy and hispanic values: Common ground
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Hall, G. C. N. (2010). Multicultural psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
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Isom, M. (1998). The social learning theory. Retrieved February 25, 2011, from
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Noble, J., LaCasa, J. (1991). The Hispanic Way: Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of
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(Noble & LaCasa, 1991). The Hispanic Way: Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of
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