Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 129–135 | Cite as

The Impact of Acculturation and Racialization on Self-Rated Health Status Among U.S. Latinos

  • Cirila Estela Vasquez GuzmanEmail author
  • Gabriel R. Sanchez
Original Paper


We investigate the Hispanic paradox by examining the relationship between acculturation and health status of Latinos to understand nuances among this growing heterogeneous population using a 2011 Latino Decisions survey. We find that acculturation remains an important determinant of Latino health; however, this varies based on whether the sample is restricted to immigrants or includes all Latino adults and on the measures of acculturation employed. We find Latino citizens reported better health than non-citizens; however, other acculturation measures, such as language use and time in the U.S. do not have a marked effect. Furthermore, skin color matters only for U.S.-born Latinos. Racialization is therefore important to consider within the context of the Hispanic paradox. Our findings suggest that some of the disadvantages stemming from minority status in the U.S. are more prominent among Latinos who have greater experience with the racial hierarchy of the U.S. and greater acculturation more broadly.


Acculturation Citizenship Health Latinos Immigration 



This study was not grant funded, but primary author was supported through the Robert Wood Jonson Center for Health Policy Doctoral Fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The study utilized de-identified secondary data. IRB considered this study to be exempt.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy1 University of New Mexico, MSC05-2400AlbuquerqueUSA

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