Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Randal Quevillon

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Helmer

Third Advisor

Dr. Gerald Yutrzenka



Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Health Psychology | Psychology


The U.S. population is becoming more diverse, and this diversity calls for adaptations that allow our healthcare system to adequately care for all individuals. The group that is currently growing the most quickly in the United States is Hispanics/Latinos (United States Census Bureau, 2016). This group faces additional challenges when it comes to receiving healthcare services, particularly when it comes to rural settings. For those Hispanics/Latinos with limited English proficiency (LEP) residing in rural settings, it can be quite difficult to access healthcare in Spanish, creating for less-than-ideal healthcare experiences.

In the following pages, we will examine some of the healthcare-related challenges that exist in rural communities, as well as how those challenges impact Hispanics/Latinos. We will observe how Hispanic/Latino demographics are changing in the United States and how a language barrier can affect these individuals in healthcare settings. We will assess the need for interpreters in healthcare settings, as well as examine what type of regulation of training and certification interpreters in South Dakota undergo. Following this introduction and a brief description of methods, we will take a deeper look at the experiences of Hispanics/Latinos of LEP, in a qualitative study performed in rural South Dakota.



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