Toward a theory-driven model of acculturation in public health research

Am J Public Health. 2006 Aug;96(8):1342-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.064980. Epub 2006 Jun 29.


Interest in studying the impact of acculturation on immigrant health has increased in tandem with the growth of the Latino population in the United States. Linear assimilation models continue to dominate public health research despite the availability of more complex acculturation theories that propose multidimensional frameworks, reciprocal interactions between the individual and the environment, and other acculturative processes among various Latino groups. Because linear and unidimensional assessments (e.g., nativity, length of stay in the United States, and language use) provide constricted measures of acculturation, the rare use of multidimensional acculturation measures and models has inhibited a more comprehensive understanding of the association between specific components of acculturation and particular health outcomes. A public health perspective that incorporates the roles of structural and cultural forces in acculturation may help identify mechanisms underlying links between acculturation and health among Latinos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Public Health / methods*
  • Research*
  • Social Conformity
  • United States