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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Igda Martinez
Project L/EARN Intern - 2000
Igda Martinez
Nervios/Ataques De Nervios: How They Relate to Psychiatric Symptoms and Diagnoses
Peter Guarnaccia, Ph.D.
Department of Human Ecology

Igda had been a Psychology major at Douglass College, which she chose to attend because she "loved the campus and the deans". She entered her junior year with plans to continue doing research pertaining to cultural aspects of mental health. This had been a newfound interest of Igda's that was sparked during her work with Dr. Peter Guarnaccia who specializes in cross-cultural mental health. Prior to this summer, she planned to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in children.

Igda's summer research project focused on nervios and ataques de nervios in Puerto Rican and Dominican people. She was able to develop a severity index for these disorders and used them to compare to other psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses. To further this work, Igda may take the opportunity to travel to her native country, Puerto Rico, to work with faculty members at the University of Puerto Rico on new data concerning nervios and ataques de nervios in children.

Igda explains that her experience in Project L/EARN has benefited her personally and academically. She says that "besides all the technical computer skills and learning how to write a research paper, [I] learned that [I] can do it... and [I'm] surprised to say that [I am] now considering doing more research". She still plans to pursue a career in which she will be able to do clinical work as well.

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