Prenatal health behaviors and psychosocial risk factors in pregnant women of Mexican origin: the role of acculturation

Am J Public Health. 1997 Jun;87(6):1022-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.6.1022.


Objectives: This study examined the association between acculturation of Mexican-origin women and factors in low birthweight and preterm delivery.

Methods: Interviews were conducted with 911 Mexican-origin respondents in Los Angeles prenatal care clinics. Infant outcome data were retrieved from delivery records.

Results: Mexican-American women had generally more undesirable prenatal behaviors and risk factors than Mexican-immigrant women. Although higher acculturation was significantly associated with behavioral risk factors, there were no direct effects of acculturation on infant gestational age or birthweight.

Conclusions: Future research needs to measure multiple factors to assess their effects on culture-specific protective factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy* / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*