CitationTaylor, Audrey & Niño, Michael (2016). The effects of early childhood acculturation on cardiometabolic risk in adulthood among Latina/os. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.
AbstractPurpose: The link between acculturation and Latina/o health has been studied extensively in social science research. Generally, studies find that greater acculturation is related to worse health. Further, a growing number of studies find that early childhood factors influence future health status during adulthood. However, the link between early childhood factors, acculturation, and future health is not well defined. This study seeks to understand how early acculturative processes influence later cardiometabolic risk among Latino/as in the United States. Methods: Data were drawn from Wave I-IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Early acculturative measures, including immigration generation, language, and percent of Latino population that is foreign born, were captured at Wave I. The measure for cardiometabolic risk was constructed using eight biomarkers from Wave IV, which include C-reactive protein, glycated hemoglobin, waist measurement, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, high and low density lipoprotein, and pulse rate. Results: It was found that early acculturative processes were significantly related to changes in cardiometabolic adulthood. When looking at the interaction between immigrant generation and Spanish language use in the home, it was found that Latina/os who spoke Spanish at home during the early years had lower levels of cardiometabolic risk later in life. Interestingly, when looking at the relationship between early language use, immigrant generation, and later cardiometabolic risk, differences between genders could be observed. Among females, speaking Spanish at home in the early years was protective against cardiometabolic risk for first generation immigrants but not second-generation immigrants. For males, speaking Spanish in home in the early years was protective against cardiometabolic risk for second-generation immigrants, but not first generation immigrants. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that early acculturative processes are influential in determining future cardiometabolic risk among Latina/os in the United States. The acculturation measures most influential in this process include language use and immigrant generation.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2016 Add Health Users Conference