Objective: Research on the relationships between acculturation, ethnic identity, and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) among the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population is sparse. The aim of this study is to examine the association between acculturation, ethnic identity, and OHRQOL among 13,172 adults in the 2008-2011 Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).Design: Participants self-reported their acculturation (immigrant generation, birthplace, residence in the U.S., language, and social acculturation), ethnic identity (sense of belonging and pride), and four OHRQOL measures. Key socio-demographic, behavioral, and oral health outcomes were tested as potential confounders.Results: Overall, 57% of individuals experienced poor OHRQOL in at least one of the domains examined. In multivariable analyses, some elements of higher acculturation were associated with greater food restriction and difficulty doing usual jobs/attending school, but not associated with pain or difficulty chewing, tasting, or swallowing. While sense of belonging to one's ethnic group was not associated with poor OHRQOL, low sense of pride was associated with food restriction. Socio-behavioral characteristics were significant effect modifiers.Conclusion: This study contributes to the understanding of the role of Hispanic/Latino's cultural factors in OHRQOL perception and can inform targeted strategies to improve OHRQOL in this diverse population.
Keywords: Acculturation; Hispanic/Latino; OHRQOL; ethnic identity; oral health; quality of life.