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Is Church Attendance Associated With Latinas' Health Practices and Self-reported Health?

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Objectives: To evaluate (a) the relation between frequency of church attendance, self-rated health, and health behaviors controlling for potential confounders and (b) the influence of acculturation on church attendance and health behaviors. Methods: Physical activity and dietary patterns, demographics, and acculturation levels were compared among Latinas who attended church frequently, infrequently, and not at all. Results: Church attendance was independently and positively associated with healthier dietary and physical activity behaviors, but not with self-rated health. Acculturation attenuated the relation between physical activity and church attendance. Conclusion: Latinas' health behaviors and self-rated health may be related to other variables that explain the salutary effects of church attendance.

Keywords: Latinas; acculturation; church attendance; health behaviors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Health Promotion, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies, San Diego, CA. 2: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC. 3: Barbara Baquero, Measurement Coordinator, San Diego State University, Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies, San Diego, CA.

Publication date: November 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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