Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 635–644 | Cite as

Effects of acculturation on prenatal anxiety among Latina women

  • Veronica Barcelona de Mendoza
  • Emily Harville
  • Katherine Theall
  • Pierre Buekens
  • Lisa Chasan-Taber
Original Article


Anxiety in pregnancy has been associated with adverse birth outcomes. Relatively few studies have investigated how acculturation affects mental health in pregnancy among Latinas. The goal of this study was to determine if acculturation was associated with anxiety over the course of pregnancy in a sample of predominantly Puerto Rican women. Women were recruited in pregnancy for participation in Proyecto Buena Salud, a prospective cohort study of Latina women (n = 1412). Acculturation was measured via the Psychological Acculturation Scale (PAS), language preference and generation in the USA. Anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Instrument. Linear and logistic multivariable regressions were used to investigate associations. After adjustment, women with bicultural identification had significantly lower trait anxiety scores in early pregnancy (β = −3.62, SE = 1.1, p < 0.001) than low acculturated women. Women with higher levels of acculturation as indicated by English-language preference (β = 1.41, SE = 0.7, p = 0.04) and second or third generation in the USA had significantly higher trait anxiety scores in early pregnancy (β = 1.83, SE = 0.6, p < 0.01). Bicultural psychological acculturation was associated with lower trait anxiety in early pregnancy, while English-language preference and higher generation in the USA were associated with higher trait anxiety in early pregnancy.


Acculturation Anxiety Pregnancy Latino Hispanic 



This project was supported by the Training Grant in Reproductive Epidemiology from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (T32 HD057780), and the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Doctoral Training Program, HRSA/MCHB (T03MC07649). Proyecto Buena Salud was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant (NIH R01DK064902).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Barcelona de Mendoza
    • 1
    • 4
  • Emily Harville
    • 1
  • Katherine Theall
    • 2
  • Pierre Buekens
    • 1
  • Lisa Chasan-Taber
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral ScienceTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health SciencesAmherstUSA
  4. 4.Yale University School of NursingOrangeUSA

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