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Segmented Assimilation: An Approach to Studying Acculturation and Obesity Among Latino Adults in the United States

Flórez, Karen R. DrPH; Abraído-Lanza, Ana PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000143
Original Articles

Segmented assimilation theory posits that immigrants experience distinct paths of assimilation. Using cluster analysis and data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey, this study sought to apply this theory in relation to obesity among Latinos. Four clusters emerged: a “second-generation classic,” a “third-generation classic,” an “underclass,” and a “segmented assimilation” pattern. In analyses controlling for sociodemographic confounders (eg, age), second-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 2.70, 95% confidence interval = 1.47-4.93) relative to the segmented pattern. Similarly, third-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 3.23, 95% confidence interval = 1.74-6.01) compared with segmented assimilation individuals.

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California (Dr Flórez); and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York (Dr Abraído-Lanza).

Correspondence: Karen R. Flórez, DrPH, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, 55 West 125th St, New York, NY 10027 (Karen.Florez@sph.cuny.edu).

Authors thank Patrick Wilson, PhD, for his invaluable assistance with the cluster analytic methods used in this study.

This study was supported by Grant Number F31HL095303 (Flórez) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)/National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NHLBI/NIH.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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