Online Program

An exploratory analysis of cultural and demographic factors associated with Latino risk and protective health factors in a community sample

Monday, November 2, 2015

Julie Gast, PhD, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Terry Peak, MSW, Ph.D., Social Work Program, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Jason Leiker, PhD, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Latinos are a growing population in the United States and are often seen in the public health social work setting but little research has examined the cultural and demographic variables that act as health risk or serve as protective factors in this population.  For the present study, a final sample of 144 male and female community-dwelling Latinos were given a pen and paper survey to assess the influence of cultural and demographic factors that in previous research have been associated with Latino health behaviors but not risk and protective behaviors. These factors include preferred language (a measure of acculturation), traditional machismo attitudes, caballerismo (a measure of positive aspects of machismo), a fatalism subscale, the HBI-20 (evaluates health behavior that promote health or increase risk of poor health), along with general health questions, and demographic items such as sex, age, marital status, health insurance status, religious importance, and education. Findings indicated that women in the study tended to engage in more health protective factors than men overall and had significantly increased scores on preventive care and medical compliance than men. Surprisingly, education, machismo, caballerismo, and fatalism were not significantly associated with health behaviors for either sex.  Conversely, general health status, religious importance, and health insurance status were found to be important predictors of protective or health promoting behaviors. Further results and implications for widening the lens of public health social work practice with Latinos will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how traditional machismo and caballerismo impact the health of Latinos Name the risk and protective health factors of community dwelling Latinos Explain how social work practice can impact the health behaviors of Latinos by cultural and demographic factors

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in all aspects of the study and have previously published in the are of Latino health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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