Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Howard Markman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael H. Craine, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Anne P. DePrince

Fourth Advisor

Arthur C. Jones


Chronic pain, Culture, Depression, Mexican Americans, Spouses


This study examined the role of cultural indicators in moderating the influence of perceived partner responses and relationship satisfaction on pain severity and depressive symptomatology among a sample of 62 married and cohabiting Mexican American men, the majority of whom were first generation Mexican Americans, with chronic back and/or neck pain. The cultural indicators were not found to act as moderators in the analyses that involved pain severity and depressive symptomatology as outcome variables. Nevertheless, this study's findings are an important initial step in understanding the relationship dynamics among an understudied population with chronic pain and raise many important questions to be pursued in future research. The cultural indicator simpatia was found to moderate the association between perceived solicitous partner responses and relationship satisfaction, indicating that for those valuing simpatia, solicitous responses may be seen to enhance the relational bond between the couple. Furthermore, perceived punishing partner responses were positively associated with pain severity and depressive symptomatology, indicating that these responses are likely seen as negative and may run against that which Mexican American males are expecting from their female partners, even when they are displayed within the context of a relationship that is generally a source of satisfaction. Findings also indicated that Mexican American men who were more acculturated, had been in the U.S. for a greater number of generations, or were lower in simpatia, had worse pain and mood-related outcomes than those who were on the other side of the continuum of these cultural indicators. Despite its limitations, the present study was the first to examine the role of perceived partner responses on pain severity and depressive symptomatology within a cultural framework. Future studies conducted on larger, more diverse samples of Mexican American participants who fall along the entire acculturation spectrum, with the use of face-to-face interviews and behavioral observations, in addition to better paper and pencil measures than those used in the present study, as well as qualitative studies that focus specifically on first generation Mexican Americans, are needed to further examine the role of cultural indicators on the pain experience of married and cohabiting Mexican Americans.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Carolyn M. Freedman


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

197 p.


Clinical psychology