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Aymara Children and their Mental Health

The website Indigenous News analizes a report carried out by BMC Psychiatry which studied 748 children, whose ages range between 9 and 15, from nine different schools attended by low socioeconomic classes in the city of Arica, in northern Chile. Out of the total number of children that took part of the study, 37% were Aymara.

Aymara families live a traditional lifestyle. Elders advise the youth, mothers take care of household tasks and educate the children, while fathers are the bread-winners and often make family decisions.

The study concludes:

Although Aymara children have migrated from the high Andean plateau to the city, this migration has not resulted in a greater presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Greater involvement with the Aymara culture may be a protective factor against anxiety and depressive symptoms in Aymara children. This point to an additional benefit of maintaining cultural traditions within this population.

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