Sarvia Aquino

Major and Classification

Health Promotions and Disease Prevention

Faculty Mentor

Tess Boley Cruz, Ph.D., Keck School of Medicine


Keck School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine

Research Gateway Project

“Creativity and Mental Health in Latino Communities: An Extended Literature Review of Interventions that Use Music”

Project Abstract

Latinos are the nation’s largest minority, and one of the fastest growing populations as stated by the Pew Research Center. Latinos are expected to make up nearly one-fourth of the population by 2050. There aren’t sufficient and adequate resources that are tailored to serving their public health needs, particularly as it relates to mental health.  There is a huge health coverage disparity in the US; for example, Latinos are at high risk for many chronic diseases and mental illnesses, yet 33%  are uninsured compared to 16% percent of all Americans (US Census 2008). The goal of this literature review is to provide a better understanding of the Latino population’s healthcare needs (mental health), related barriers and to illustrate how some clinical interventions that utilize art and music may be possible treatments for mental illness.  The research explores themes throughout the existing literature. This includes focusing on: Benefits for constituents (those with mental health problems), Benefits for certain types of groups (regarding gender, age and ethnicity), Structures of the intervention and its impact on participant response, Different types of art  and music how it was used in the intervention, and Effective interventions that appear to work (e.g., in improving  Self Efficacy, Self Evaluation, etc.). This literature review gives insight into how effective art and music  strategies are employed with low-socioeconomic Latinos and help them deal with (manage) and (in some cases) overcome mental illness.