Acculturation and health status among Hispanic American elders

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Christine Williams, Committee Chair


Hispanic Americans are at risk for health-related problems. Disparities in diseases such as diabetes and obesity, access to health services and health insurance have placed Hispanic Americans at a disadvantage. Sociocultural factors such as acculturation and its relationship to health requires further development.This study was a secondary analysis of a parent study titled Culture Bias in Testing Expressive Ability in Dementia (Tappen, Williams, Loewenstein, Rosselli, Touhy, & Morgan, 2000). The primary purpose of this dissertation was to identify the relationship between acculturation and health in Hispanic American elders. Specific aims were (1) identify the relationship between acculturation and cigarette smoking, (2) delineate the interrelationships between acculturation, medication use, and health care conditions, and (3) examine the relationship between acculturation and health status and its interrelationships with age, health care conditions, education and income.Findings from the study revealed that although no differences were evident in relationships between acculturation and some health related variables such as cigarette smoking, medication use and reported number of health care conditions, acculturation was related to self-reported health status. Participants who were more acculturated perceived their health to be better. This is an important contribution to advancing knowledge about cultural and health issues among Hispanic American elders.


Gerontology; Health Sciences, Nursing

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