Education, psychosocial resources, and metabolic syndrome variables in Latinas
Background: Individuals with low socioeconomic position (SEP) and Latino ethnicity are at high risk for the metabolic syndrome. In part, this may reflect that these populations benefit from fewer resilient resources to manage stressful environments, resulting in accentuated psychological and physiological costs (1).Purpose: We examined the direct effects of educational attainment (an indicator of SEP) and psychosocial resources on metabolic syndrome variables, and tested indirect effects of education, via resources.Methods: Participants were 145 middle-aged (M=47.07 years) Latinas recruited from health clinics along the California—Mexico border. Women completed assessments of demographics and resilient resources; metabolic syndrome variables were measured (blood pressure [BP], waist circumference [WC]) or abstracted from medical charts (lipids, glucose).Results: Women with less education reported fewer psychosocial resources (ΔR2=.14, p<.0001) and showed a higher risk profile on measures of BP, WC, and plasma glucose (3–7% of variance explained, all ps<.05), relative to those with more education. Resources independently predicted lower WCs (ΔR2=.07, p<.05). Education exerted an indirect effect (p<.05) through resources on WC, a core factor underlying the metabolic syndrome.Conclusions: Additional research is warranted to further explore the roles of resilient resources in relationships among SEP, metabolic risk factors, and chronic disease processes.