A Grounded Theory Approach to Exploring the Impact of Machismo on Second-Generation Latina Women's Identity Formation

Thumbnail Image
Degree type
Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Graduate group
U.S. Latina Women
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Social Work
Grant number
Copyright date
Related resources

As the Latino population grows, mental health and social service providers are challenged to meet the needs of this unique and diverse group. As clinicians we are engaged in an inter-subjective experience to acquire knowledge and understanding of the person before us. Our person-in-context lens and how we apply it is only as expansive and/or limited as our professional knowledge base allows. Although researchers in the psychological and behavioral sciences have briefly explored the impact of gender socialization within the Latino communities, known as machismo and marianismo, as it relates to clinical practice implications, empirical inquiry remains limited. Furthermore, the breadth of inquiry on machismo has focused primarily on how it relates to Latino men. Machismo, as an intricate part of the home and the culture, directly affects Latina women and their development. This qualitative study aimed to acquire an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of Latina women with machismo, and its impact on identity development. USing an intensive interview in-depth approach, the researcher conducted one individual sixty-minute interview with each of the twelve participants. The participants narratives revealed three main constructs: Quien Eres (Who You Are) relating to their ascribed social identity, Quien Soy (Who I Am) relating to their self-concepts, and El Choque (The Clash) that takes place between the two. The participants' narratives also illustrated a responsive process to El Choque highlighting five major themes: 1) questioning machista principles, 2) increased awareness of self and machismo, 3) internal/external intolerance and confrontation of machista principles and behaviors, 4) defiant and rebellious behaviors, and 5) beliefs of equality and independence. Implications for practice and research are discussed. Further research is necessary and encouraged.

Joretha Bourjolly
David T. Abalos
Carmen I. Vazquez
Date of degree
Date Range for Data Collection (Start Date)
Date Range for Data Collection (End Date)
Digital Object Identifier
Series name and number
Volume number
Issue number
Publisher DOI
Journal Issue
Recommended citation