Acculturation and Latina Health: A Model of Acculturation, Socioeconomic Status, Stress, and Health
Ritchie, Natalie D.
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Acculturation leads to poor health among immigrant Latinos. This relationship has warranted further study, particularly of explanatory mechanisms underlying the influence of acculturation on health. In the current study we explored a theoretical model of Latino health in which socioeconomic status and stress were proposed to mediate negative relationships between acculturation and health behaviors and outcomes. We tested this model in a sample of immigrant Latina women (N = 81), who are especially at risk for poor health and stress outcomes, but who are also instrumental in disseminating health messages to their families. Our study demonstrated a negative linear effect of acculturation on health status and a quadratic effect of acculturation on physical activity. Several other trends were not significant, yet in the hypothesized directions. We were unable to detect mediation by SES or stress. Thus, we call for further study and make recommendations for future research based on our findings.