An Investigation of Folk Illnesses, Symptoms, and Treatments in Northeast Missouri
Joy C. Bulen
Dr. Bonnie Mitchell, Dr. Amber L. Johnson, and Dr. Ray Barrow , Faculty Mentors
Recent studies on folk illnesses have focused mainly on the explanation of symptoms and treatments of the illness within a community (Baer & Bustillo 1993; Chavez, Estevan, Flores & Lopez-Garza, 1992; Rivera & Wanderer 1986). The study presented herein introduces the hypothesis that women, more often than men, would believe in folk illnesses, and that both men and women with the least education would believe in more folk illnesses than those with the most education. Thirty interviews were conducted to collect basic demographics and information concerning experience with various folk illnesses, their symptoms and their treatments. Gender and educational attainment were both found to correlate with belief in folk illnesses and appears to be largest predictor of an individuals belief in or experience of folk illnesses, suggesting that there may be fundamental differences, perhaps learned during childhood, concerning the treatment of illness among the Hispanic population.
Keywords: Folk illness, Gender, Gender roles, Hispanic, Education, Illness
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: MG 1090