Theoretical foundations of the Study of Latino (SOL) Youth: implications for obesity and cardiometabolic risk

Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Jan;24(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.10.011. Epub 2013 Oct 21.


Purpose: This article describes the conceptual model developed for the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latino Youth, a multisite epidemiologic study of obesity and cardiometabolic risk among U.S. Hispanic/Latino children.

Methods: Public health, psychology, and sociology research were examined for relevant theories and paradigms. This research, in turn, led us to consider several study design features to best represent both risk and protective factors from multiple levels of influence, as well as the identification of culturally relevant scales to capture identified constructs.

Results: The Socio-Ecological Framework, Social Cognitive Theory, family systems theory, and acculturation research informed the specification of our conceptual model. Data are being collected from both children and parents in the household to examine the bidirectional influence of children and their parents, including the potential contribution of intergenerational differences in acculturation as a risk factor. Children and parents are reporting on individual, interpersonal, and perceived organizational and community influences on children's risk for obesity consistent with Socio-Ecological Framework.

Conclusions: Much research has been conducted on obesity, yet conceptual models examining risk and protective factors lack specificity in several areas. Study of Latino Youth is designed to fill a gap in this research and inform future efforts.

Keywords: Acculturation; Children; Hispanic/Latino; Obesity; Socio-Ecological Framework; Theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Family
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology