The relationship between psychosocial status, acculturation and country of origin in mid-life Hispanic women: Data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

R. Green, N. F. Santoro, A. P. McGinn, R. P. Wildman, C. A. Derby, A. J. Polotsky, G. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Method To test the hypothesis that psychosocial symptomatology differs by country of origin and acculturation among Hispanic women, we examined 419 women, aged 42-52 years at baseline, enrolled in the New Jersey site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Women were categorized into six groups: Central (CA, n=29) or South American (SA, n=106), Puerto Rican (PR, n=56), Dominican (D, n=42), Cuban (Cu, n=44) and non-Hispanic Caucasian (NHC, n=142). Acculturation, depressive symptoms, hostility/cynicism, mistreatment/ discrimination, sleep quality, social support, and perceived stress were assessed at baseline. Physical functioning, trait anxiety and anger were assessed at the fourth annual follow-up. Comparisons between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasians used χ2, t test or non-parametric alternatives; ANOVA or KruskalWallis testing examined differences among the five Hispanic sub-groups. Multivariable regression models used PR women as the reference group. ResultsHispanic women were overall less educated, less acculturated (p<0.001 for both) and reported more depressive symptoms, cynicism, perceived stress, and less mistreatment/discrimination than NHCs. Along with D women, PR women reported worse sleep than Cu women (p<0.01) and more trait anxiety than SA and Cu women (p<0.01). Yet, PR women were most acculturated (21.4% highly acculturated vs. CA (0.0%), D (4.8%), SA (4.8%) and Cu (2.3%) women; p<0.001). In regression models, PR women reported depressive symptoms more frequently than D, Cu, or SA women, and reported trait anxiety more frequently than Cu or SA women. Greater acculturation was associated with more favorable psychosocial status, but PR ethnicity was negatively related to psychosocial status. ConclusionPsychosocial symptomatology among Hispanic women differs by country of origin and the relatively adverse profile of Puerto Rican women is not explained by acculturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-543
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010




ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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