TitleAcculturation and its association with health-risk behaviors in a rural Latina population.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsKasirye, OC, Walsh, JA, Romano, PS, Beckett, LA, Garcia, JA, Elvine-Kreis, B, Bethel, JW, Schenker, MB
JournalEthnicity & disease
Date Published2005 Autumn
KeywordsRural Health

PURPOSE: To evaluate the performance of proxy measures of acculturation and to examine the association between acculturation and selected health-risk behaviors. METHODS: Participants were 1062 Latina pregnant women who received prenatal care at clinics in San Joaquin County, California between 1999 and 2001. We used the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of proxy measures and regression analysis to examine health-risk behaviors. RESULTS: Using the ARSMA-II short version scale as a reference, age at immigration had the highest percentage of correctly classified individuals. Acculturation was significantly associated with a lifetime history of substance use, risky sexual behavior, low fruit consumption, and high fast-food meal consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Acculturation is an important predictor of health-risk behavior among women. Further research is needed to better understand the phenomenon and to avert associated adverse health consequences.