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Pathways between acculturation and health behaviors among residents of low-income housing: The mediating role of social and contextual factors
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    25462602
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4425350
  • Description:
    Acculturation may influence health behaviors, yet mechanisms underlying its effect are not well understood. In this study, we describe relationships between acculturation and health behaviors among low-income housing residents, and examine whether these relationships are mediated by social and contextual factors. Residents of 20 low-income housing sites in the Boston metropolitan area completed surveys that assessed acculturative characteristics, social/contextual factors, and health behaviors. A composite acculturation scale was developed using latent class analysis, resulting in four distinct acculturative groups. Path analysis was used to examine interrelationships between acculturation, health behaviors, and social/contextual factors, specifically self-reported social ties, social support, stress, material hardship, and discrimination. Of the 828 respondents, 69% were born outside of the U.S. Less acculturated groups exhibited healthier dietary practices and were less likely to smoke than more acculturated groups. Acculturation had a direct effect on diet and smoking, but not physical activity. Acculturation also showed an indirect effect on diet through its relationship with material hardship. Our finding that material hardship mediated the relationship between acculturation and diet suggests the need to explicate the significant role of financial resources in interventions seeking to promote healthy diets among low-income immigrant groups. Future research should examine these social and contextual mediators using larger, population-based samples, preferably with longitudinal data.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    K01 CA169041/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    K01 CA169041-01/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    K05 CA108663/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    K05 CA108663- 05/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    K05 CA108663-05/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01 CA111310/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01 CA111310-01A1/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R25 CA057711/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R25 CA057713/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R25 CA163184/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R25 CA163184/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    U48DP001946/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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