Measuring Acculturation Among Central American Women with the Use of a Brief Language Scale
- Cite this article as:
- Wallen, G.R., Feldman, R.H. & Anliker, J. Journal of Immigrant Health (2002) 4: 95. doi:10.1023/A:1014550626218
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The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of a brief language usage scale as a measure of acculturation in 197 Central American immigrant women. This study presents an analysis of cross-sectional survey data collected during face-to-face interviews conducted in Spanish as part of the program evaluation of the Infant Feeding for Hispanic Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Populations a Peer Education Model. The Short Acculturation Scale, a four-item language usage scale exploring the participants' language preferences, was used as a measure of acculturation. The participant's age, length of time in the United States, and perceived social support for breastfeeding were used as validation measures. Results demonstrated good internal reliability for the acculturation summary scale. Consistent with previous studies, significant correlations (p < 0.01) were found between acculturation and mother's age, perceived social support for breastfeeding, and mother's length of time in the United States. The reliability and validity data from this group of Central American immigrants support the continued use of this brief measure of acculturation in diverse Latino subpopulations when multidimensional measures are neither practical nor feasible.