Acculturative and neighborhood influences on subjective social status among Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant smokers

Lorraine R Reitzel, Carlos A Mazas, Ludmila Cofta-Woerpel, Jennifer I Vidrine, Michael S Businelle, Darla E Kendzor, Yisheng Li, Yumei Cao, David W Wetter
Social Science & Medicine 2010, 70 (5): 677-83
Subjective social status (SSS) reflects an individual's perception of her/his relative position in the social hierarchy. However, little is known about culturally-relevant, multilevel predictors of low SSS among low socioeconomic status (SES), minority populations. The goal of this study was to identify individual- and neighborhood-level variables predicting SSS among 297 Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant smokers living in several locations in Texas, with an emphasis on the association of SSS with acculturative and socioeconomic variables. Participants were recruited and enrolled through the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service from August 2002 to March 2004. Determinants of SSS were explored using a series of linear regressions. In analyses adjusting for demographics (including objective indicators of SES), speaking Spanish at home and work and living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, respectively, were associated with low SSS. However, in analyses including demographics, acculturation, and neighborhood characteristics, only income, education, and acculturation remained associated with SSS. Consistent with results from a previous study in the area (Franzini & Fernandez-Esquer, 2006), less acculturation predicted low SSS among immigrant Latino smokers. However, unlike previous research, these associations were maintained after controlling for SES. Results suggest that the density of less acculturated Latinos within economically deprived neighborhoods might account for the disappearance of neighborhood effects in the final model.

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