Lifetime segmented assimilation trajectories and health outcomes in latino and other community residents

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Abstract

Objectives. Under an ecodevelopmental framework, we examined lifetime segmented assimilation trajectories (diverging assimilation pathways influenced by prior life conditions) and related them to quality-of-life indicators in a diverse sample of 258 men in the Pheonix, AZ, metropolitan area. Methods. We used a growth mixture model analysis of lifetime changes in socioeconomic status, and used acculturation to identify distinct lifetime segmented assimilation trajectory groups, which we compared on life satisfaction, exercise, and dietary behaviors. We hypothesized that lifetime assimilation change toward mainstream American culture (upward assimilation) would be associated with favorable health outcomes, and downward assimilation change with unfavorable health outcomes. Results. A growth mixture model latent class analysis identified 4 distinct assimilation trajectory groups. In partial support of the study hypotheses, the extreme upward assimilation trajectory group (the most successful of the assimilation pathways) exhibited the highest life satisfaction and the lowest frequency of unhealthy food consumption. Conclusions. Upward segmented assimilation is associated in adulthood with certain positive health outcomes. This may be the first study to model upward and downward lifetime segmented assimilation trajectories, and to associate these with life satisfaction, exercise, and dietary behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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