Acculturation and health care utilization among Mexican heritage women in the United States

Mónica Bermúdez-Parsai, Jennifer L Mullins Geiger, Flavio Marsiglia, Dean V. Coonrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


With the increasing Latino population in the United States, it is critical to examine the influence of the process of acculturation on health care practices and utilization. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between acculturation level and post-partum visit (PPV) compliance among Latinas participating in a larger psycho-educational intervention aimed at encouraging women to engage in positive healthcare practices. Acculturation was measured with the Bicultural Involvement Questionnaire which assigned participants to five categories: Assimilated, Separated, Moderate, Bicultural and Alienation. Logistic Regression analyses were conducted to predict post-partum visit attendance. Odds ratios and relative risk of not attending the post-partum visit are presented. Results suggest women in the Separation and Assimilation groups were less likely than bicultural group members to attend the PPV. The only other variable that was significant in this analysis is the group condition, indicating that the intervention group was more likely to attend the PPV than the control group. Women identifying as bicultural seem to participate more actively in their own healthcare as they draw on the cultural assets that have a positive influence on informal health practices, such as healthy eating and refraining from drug use. Bicultural group members can also use formal skills related to language and knowledge of the dominant culture to help effectively navigate the healthcare system. Implications for research, intervention and practice are discussed to improve healthcare practices and increase utilization among Latinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1179
Number of pages7
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Acculturation
  • Health care
  • Latino/a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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