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Examining the Role of Acculturation in Health Behaviors of Older Mexican Americans

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Objectives: To determine if acculturation is associated with smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity among older Mexican Americans. Methods: Multivariate analyses of data from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) were used. Results: Those who were more proficient in English were more likely to be former or current smokers than nonsmokers and former or current drinkers than abstainers. In addition, those who had greater contact with AngloAmericans were more likely to be former or current smokers than nonsmokers and former or current drinkers than abstainers. Conclusions: These results can assist health promotion programs in identifying those most at risk of engaging in negative health behaviors.

Keywords: Hispanic; acculturation; health behavior; older

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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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