The Role of Acculturation and Social Capital in Access to Health Care: A Meta-study on Hispanics in the US

  • Maria E. Rodriguez-AlcaláEmail author
  • Hua Qin
  • Stephen Jeanetta


A meta-study of 83 articles published from 1981 to 2016 was conducted on Hispanics access to health care in the US. Few of these studies have included acculturation and even fewer the role of social capital as important factors that impact healthcare access for this population. Among those that do include these two factors, there is confusion as to how they are defined and operationalized. Acculturation and social capital could serve to overcome some of the structural barriers in place that manifest stronger among Hispanics who are relatively newcomers to a healthcare system that is highly complex to navigate. The majority of studies included in this systematic review of the literature are in public health journals, which do not focus on sociological aspects as much. This study exposes the need to expand the worldviews used in the literature in order to enrich our understanding of access to health care for Hispanics.


Hispanics Latinos Access to health care Acculturation Social capital 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Extension Professional in Community DevelopmentUniversity of MissouriCarthageUSA
  2. 2.Division of Applied Social SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Applied Social Sciences, Extension Community Development DirectorCambio Center Director, University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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