What are three things in the article Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: a review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review Public Health, 26, 367-397, that offer a different perspective on the effects of acculturation on health?
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There are at least two ways in which to answer this question.
First, we can look at different studies, some of which show that acculturation is beneficial to health, and some of which show that acculturation is detrimental to the health outcomes of Latinos. For example, the authors cite studies that show that more acculturated Latinos have higher rates of illicit drug use. The authors also cite studies that show that acculturated Latinos eat less healthy diets. On the other hand, studies also show that acculturated Latinos face fewer barriers to using health care. These could be seen as three things that provide different perspectives of the effects of acculturation on Latino health.
Second, we can look at ways in which health outcomes actually vary depending on how one defines acculturation. For example, studies that have looked at birth outcomes say that the mother’s place of birth, and not the language that she speaks, had more of an impact on prenatal problems. In other words, if we look at acculturation from the perspective of language, the impact on Latino health outcomes seems to disappear. As another example of this, we see that studies show that acculturation affects birth outcomes much more clearly for Mexican-American women than for other Latinas. Finally, studies found that the language the Latinos use, and not the ethnicity that they identify with, matters most for how much they make use of health care. In other words, the way in which we define acculturation can change the effects that we see. This gives us a different perspective on the effects of acculturation.
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