ERIC Number: ED292943
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov-19
Cuban Women, Sex Role Conflicts and Use of Prescription Drugs.
Gonzalez, Diana H.; Page, J. Brian
This paper focuses on Cuban women migrants living in Miami (Florida) and on their adaptation to life in exile, especially their use of minor tranquilizers. Many of these women left Cuba for political and economic reasons. The migration process restructured their social status in many ways. They were not allowed to bring valuables or financial assets with them. Families of all classes had no money and no English language skills. Many of the women entered the labor force at low pay, which to them represented downward social mobility and a loss of social standing and prestige. Cuban women came to have the highest participation rate in the U.S. labor force of any Hispanic group. To ease the stress which arose from the conflicting needs for income and to keep house, some Cuban women turned to the use of prescription drugs. A survey of these women showed that they took the drugs for their nerves or as sleeping aids. Clear links were found between post-immigration conditions and drug use. The conditions which correlated with higher use were the following: (1) concern for relatives who had remained in Cuba; (2) anxiety about income and employment; (3) uncertainty about repatriation; and (4) the imminent Communist takeover of Cuba. Minor tranquilizers have achieved a status similar to that of traditional herbs. Many of the women obtain these medications without a prescription. They make the diagnosis themselves and the behavior is accepted by kinship and other social networks. A bibliography is included. (VM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Cincinnati, OH, November 19, 1979).