Purpose: Hispanic Americans are at risk for health-related problems. Disparities in diseases such as diabetes and obesity, poor access to health services, and lack of health insurance have placed Hispanic Americans at a disadvantage. Sociocultural factors such as acculturation and its relationship to health require further investigation. The primary purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between acculturation and health in Hispanic American elders and examine the interrelationships of acculturation, health status, age, gender, education, years in the United States, and income.
Design: This descriptive correlational study was a secondary analysis of data from a large study titled Culture Bias in Testing Expressive Ability in Dementia.
Methods: A total sample of 132 community-dwelling Hispanic American elders was used. The Cross Cultural Measure of Acculturation was used to measure acculturation, and health status was measured using the SF-8® Health Survey. Correlation and multiple linear regressions were used to analyze the data.
Discussion/conclusions: Findings from the study revealed that participants who were more acculturated to mainstream American culture reported their mental health to be better but not their physical health. This is an important contribution to advancing knowledge about cultural and health issues among Hispanic American elders, with implications for the clinical setting and for providing more culturally competent care.