Communication Processes and the Latino Health Paradox: Exploring Relationships among Loneliness, Cultural Values, and Health across the Lifespan
AuthorGallegos, Monica L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 06-Feb-2014
AbstractThis study tested predictions that potentially explain why Latinos, despite being disadvantaged in a number of ways related to poor health such as low education and low income, still fare better for some health outcomes compared to Anglos; A phenomenon know as the Latino health paradox. In particular, loneliness was hypothesized as a key mediator in the relationship between Latino cultural values and three health outcomes: overall health, depression and engaging in protective health practices. Cultural values of familism and spiritual well-being were predicted to be inversely related to loneliness, and reduced loneliness was predicted to be associated with beneficial health outcomes. Ethnicity (i.e., being Latino) was also hypothesized to predict endorsement of cultural values. Participants were 319 adults, including 116 Anglos and 139 Latinos between the ages of 19-88. Results indicated that being Latino predicted endorsing the values of spiritual well-being and familism. Spiritual well-being had an association with better health through reduced loneliness for both Latinos and Anglos, and the effect size was greater for Latinos. Familism predicted reduced loneliness and had a significant indirect effect on health through loneliness for Anglos, but not for Latinos; a result that may be attributable to the obligatory nature of familial relationships in Latino culture. Finally, age did not moderate the impact of familism or spiritual well-being on health through loneliness for Latinos or Anglos, suggesting that the indirect effects on health through loneliness are consistent throughout the lifespan.
Degree ProgramGraduate College