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Acculturation and Smoking Patterns Among Hispanics: A Review


Objective To conduct a systematic review of published studies investigating the association of acculturation and smoking patterns among Hispanic men and women in the United States.

Methods Online bibliographic databases were searched as of November 2003 and reference lists from review articles and the selected articles were also reviewed for potential studies. The methodology and findings of all retrieved articles were critically evaluated. Data were extracted from each article regarding study methods, exposure assessment, outcomes measured, acculturation measured used, and results.

Results The literature search identified 78 articles from MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychINFO databases; of these, eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Included were seven regional studies based in the western U.S. and four nationwide studies. Seven studies utilized formal acculturation scales, three used language spoken, and one used language spoken and country of birth to indicate acculturation status. Nine studies showed a positive association between acculturation and smoking in women, but none of the studies in men showed an association.

Conclusion The findings suggest that the association of acculturation and smoking is gender-specific. In this case, increased smoking prevalence with acculturation is consistently observed among Hispanic women but not among men. However, this trend cannot be generalized to the entire U.S. Hispanic population as a large percentage of the study participants were of Mexican descent. As Hispanic women acculturate, their cigarette smoking may increase because their behavior becomes more strongly influenced by the norms and practices of the dominant group than in men.

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