Psychology ETDs

Publication Date



Health disparities among U.S. Hispanic populations continue to be a significant and costly public health concern. Both vulnerability and resilience factors may play a crucial role in understanding the extent of health disparities in a disease and may lead to better ways for reducing the disparities. The purpose of this study was to examine potential vulnerability and resilience factors that may explain differences in health and functioning between Hispanic (n = 52) and Non-Hispanic White (NHW; n = 135) cervical cancer survivors. New Mexico Tumor Registry participants diagnosed with cervical cancer completed general physical and mental health questionnaires including a measure of depression. Measures of vulnerability, including low income and education, and measures of resiliency, including coping, optimism, social support and spirituality, were also completed. No differences were found between Hispanic and NHW women on the physical health, mental health or depression measures. Hispanic women scored higher in spirituality and coping and lower in education than the NHW women. Income, optimism, and social support were all related to better physical and mental health and less depressive symptoms in the whole sample. Future studies should continue to examine population specific vulnerability and resilience factors in cervical cancer in efforts to better understand health disparities and guide prevention and treatment.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Advisor

Smith, Bruce

First Committee Member (Chair)

Verney, Steven

Second Committee Member

Erickson, Sarah




Breast--Cancer--Social aspects, Ethnicity--Health aspects, Hispanic Americans--Health and hygiene.

Document Type