, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 401-409
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Acculturation, Coping Styles, and Health Risk Behaviors Among HIV Positive Latinas

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This study examined the relationships among acculturation, coping styles, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and medication non-adherence among 219 Latinas living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles, CA. Coping styles were hypothesized to mediate the link between acculturation and health risk behaviors for HIV positive Latinas. Structural equation modeling revealed that greater acculturation was related to less positive coping and more negative coping. In turn, negative coping was associated with more health risk behaviors and more non-adherence. Positive coping was associated with less substance use as reflected in use of cigarettes and alcohol and less non-adherence. Coping styles mediated the relationship between acculturation and health risk behaviors. Findings echo previous works examining the Hispanic Health Paradox wherein more acculturated Latinos exhibit increased risk behavior and maladaptive coping styles. HIV/AIDS interventions need to be mindful of cultural differences within Hispanic populations and be tailored to address these differences.