Exploring well-being among US Hispanics/Latinos in a church-based institution: a qualitative study

Rosalba Hernandez, Mercedes Carnethon, Frank J. Penedo, Lizet Martinez, Julia Boehm, Stephen M. Schueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major theories informing conceptions of psychological well-being draw heavily from Western-centric perspectives, which often neglect culturally bound frameworks. We investigated how US Hispanics/Latinos conceptualize well-being, how psychosocial and behavioral aspects may increase well-being, and how psychosocial stressors may impact positive emotional states. Spanish-speaking Hispanic/Latino adults were recruited from a church in an urban city in the US and invited to participate in focus groups. Two groups of women (n = 19) and one group of men (n = 8) participated. The importance of harmonious social relationships emerged as a theme with the central family unit as the fundamental force influencing long-lasting emotional well-being. Additional correlates of well-being included: faith/religiosity; physical health; self-love and -esteem; effective/open communication with family and friends; and financial security. Programs aimed at increasing well-being may need to be adapted before administration in Hispanics/Latinos to include a heightened focus on interpersonal factors. Delivery in religious institutions may also be particularly beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-521
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016


  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • culture
  • happiness
  • qualitative
  • subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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