Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The research study had three goals. First, the study explored and compared adherence to Marianismo values in Mexican women born in Mexico and Mexican- American women born in the U.S. The hypothesis was that Mexican women would endorse more Marianismo values because Mexican-American women who are born, raised and educated in the U.S. are more likely to adopt more American values. Second, the study gathered and compared the women's perspectives on cultural differences between U.S. and Latino culture views of the women's role. Third, the study sought to further understand the relationship between acculturation and Marianismo to ascertain differences and patterns through four likert-type questions based on theory of acculturation adaptations by Berry (1980). The study used a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews with seven Mexican women and seven Mexican-American women recruited in Northern California. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and coded by themes. Major findings showed differences and similarities between the two groups endorsement of Marianismo values such as differences in how they viewed their roles. The Mexican women viewed their role as mother and in terms of duties, and Mexican- American women viewed their role as independent and discussed ambitions of education and career. The groups also differed in their view of a "good woman". The groups were similar in messages received from parents about sex and marriage, and viewing their mothers as sacrificing. The groups differed in their perspective on cultural differences. Further research is needed to explore the relationship of Marianismo and biculturalism and to explore positive aspects of Marianismo.


iv, 132 p. Thesis (M.S.W)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 108-110).