Acculturation and its association with health-risk behaviors in a rural Latina population

Olivia C. Kasirye, Julia A. Walsh, Pattrick S. Romano, Laurel A. Beckett, Jorge A. Garcia, Brenda Elvine-Kreis, Jeffrey W. Bethel, Marc B. Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Acculturation
  • Behaviors
  • Health-risk
  • Latinas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)


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