Health disparities among Latinos have been associated with acculturation, but there is a lack of consensus about how acculturation variables translate into health beliefs that can be used to target attitude and behavior change interventions. Transcripts from three qualitative studies including 64 Latino immigrant adults were analyzed through inductive reasoning to assess relationships between more or less acculturated attitudes, and demographic variables. In the three topic areas of gender roles, sex education, and seeking professional help, attitudes ranged from conservative (less acculturated) to liberal (more acculturated), but did not seem associated with age, education or years in the United States. When dealing with specific health topics, it is not possible to infer specific attitudes, strength of attitudes or level of acculturation of intervention recipients. To develop sound, culturally competent interventions, it is necessary to assess the targets’ beliefs and attitudes and tailor messages in specific contexts.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Edelson MG, Hokoda A, Ramos-Lira L. Differences in effects of domestic violence between Latina and Non-Latina women. J Fam Viol. 2007;22(1):1–10.
Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy: Issue Brief on Latino Youth: Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2002; [cited 2009 May 2] Available from: http://crhrp.ucsf.edu/publications/files/Latino.IB.pdf
Unger JB, Molina GB. Acculturation and attitudes about contraceptive use among Latina women. Health Care Women Int. 2000;21(3):235–49.
Villarruel AM. Cultural influences on the sexual attitudes, beliefs, and norms of young Latina adolescents. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 1998;3(2):69–79.
Sherif M. Hovland CI: social judgment. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 1961.
Bandura A. Social cognitive theory of mass communication. Media Psychol. 2001;3(3):265–99.
Bandura A. Social cognitive theory in cultural context. Appl Psychol. 2002;51(2):269–90.
Whiten A. Primate culture and social learning. Cogn Sci. 2000;24(3):477–508.
Rogler LH, Cortes DE, Malgady RG. Acculturation and mental health status among Hispanics: convergence and new directions for research. Am Psychol. 1991;46(6):585–97.
De La Rosa M. Acculturation and Latino adolescents’ substance use: a research agenda for the future. Subst Use Misuse. 2002;37(4):429–56.
Hunt LM, Schneider S, Comer B. Should” acculturation” be a variable in health research? a critical review of research on US Hispanics. Soc Sci Med. 2004;59(5):973–86.
Zane N, Mak W. Major approaches to the measurement of acculturation among ethnic minority populations: a content analysis and an alternative empirical strategy. In: Acculturation: advances in theory, measurement, and applied research. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association; 2003 p. 39–60.
Babbie E. The practice of social research, 11th Ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education; 2007.
Strauss AL, Corbin JM. Grounded theory in practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc; 1997.
Padilla AM, Baird TL. Mexican-American adolescent sexuality and sexual knowledge: an exploratory study. Hisp J Behav Sci. 1991;13(1):95–104.
Bandura A. Social cognitive theory of self-regulation. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process. 1991;50(2):248–87.
Sherif CW, Sherif M, Nebergall RE. Attitude and attitude change: the social judgment-involvement approach. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1965.
Lara M, Gamboa C, Kahramanian MI, Morales LS, Bautista DE. Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: a review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annu Rev Public Health. 2005;26:367–97.
Salant T, Lauderdale D. Measuring culture: a critical review of acculturation and health in Asian immigrant populations. Soc Sci Med. 2003;57(1):71–90.
Hunt LM, Schneider S, Comer B. Should ‘‘acculturation’’ be a variable in health research? a critical review of research on US Hispanics. Soc Sci Med. 2004;59:973–86.
About this article
Cite this article
Villar, M.E., Concha, M. & Zamith, R. Health Beliefs and Attitudes of Latino Immigrants: Rethinking Acculturation as a Constant. J Immigrant Minority Health 14, 885–889 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-012-9579-5
- Health beliefs
- Health messages
- Latino culture
- Social judgment theory