Latinos, acculturation, and acculturative stress: a dimensional concept analysis

Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2007 May;8(2):93-106. doi: 10.1177/1527154407301751.


Background: Acculturation can be conceived of as a process of adaptation to stressful changes. In the field of public health, research indicates that recently arrived Latino immigrants, presumably most affected by acculturative stress, have better health outcomes than those who have spent greater time in the United States. This "immigrant paradox" is not well understood but supports the distinction between the process of acculturation and acculturative stress.

Aim: To understand the nature of acculturative stress for Latinos in the context of political, historical, and societal forces.

Results: Acculturative stress significantly affects the physical and mental health of many Latino immigrants. Types of stressors vary by ethnicity. Separation from family and lack of a community was the most often-cited stressor for new immigrants. Most Latino immigrants were adversely affected by discrimination.

Conclusion: By developing an understanding of acculturative stress, nurses can better attend to the needs of our increasingly diverse population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Family / ethnology
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Loneliness
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nurse's Role
  • Politics
  • Poverty / ethnology
  • Prejudice
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Identification
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • United States