Date of Award

Spring May 2011

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts


This paper is an exploration of what culturally constitutes Latina identity formation pre and post immigration specifically looking at women from Mexico and Central America, with a special interest in looking at how acculturation impacts identity formation. This also investigates the mental health needs of immigrant Latina women particularly struggling with acculturation and lost sense of self. The eight women participants were selected from Santa Rosa de Lima church in Simi Valley. The women created art on three Saturdays in response to the directives presented by the researcher, all art prompt involved exploration on identity. The art was studied in a qualitative method with a presentation of the art, the analysis and the findings. The art demonstrates the importance of family cohesiveness and the challenge for Latinas to identify their personal needs away from the needs of their families. The art also suggests that acculturation can evoke stress, depression, anxiety and lost sense of self.