The purpose of this study was to assess the association between acculturation and functional health using multiple proxies of acculturation to examine explanatory pathways to clarify disparate health findings. A population-based cross-sectional, multistage probability sample from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (N = 3,050) was used. The dependent variables of neuropsychiatric function were depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]) and cognitive function (mini-mental state examination [MMSE]) examined in separate multivariable regression and structural equation models to examine the pathways between acculturation proxies and neuropsychiatric function. Findings indicated that three acculturation proxies were associated with cognitive function but none were associated with depressive symptoms. English proficiency fully mediated the associations between other acculturation proxies and cognitive function. The findings suggest that language plays a central role in the pathway between acculturation and health among Mexican-origin populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Linguistics and Language