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Socioeconomic Adversity, Social Resources, and Allostatic Load Among Hispanic/Latino Youth

The Study of Latino Youth

Gallo, Linda C., PhD; Roesch, Scott C., PhD; Bravin, Julia I., MS; Savin, Kimberly L., BA; Perreira, Krista M., PhD; Carnethon, Mercedes R., PhD; Delamater, Alan M., PhD; Salazar, Christian R., PhD; Lopez-Gurrola, Maria, MPH; Isasi, Carmen R., MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000668

Objective We examined associations among socioeconomic adversity, social resources, and allostatic load in Hispanic/Latino youth, who are at high risk for obesity and related cardiometabolic risks.

Methods Participants were 1343 Hispanic/Latino youth (51% male; ages 8–16 years) offspring of Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants. Between 2012 and 2014, youth underwent a fasting blood draw and anthropometric assessment, and youth and their enrolled caregivers provided social and demographic information. A composite indicator of allostatic load represented dysregulation across general metabolism, cardiovascular, glucose metabolism, lipid, and inflammation/hemostatic systems. Socioeconomic adversity was a composite of caregiver education, employment status, economic hardship, family income relative to poverty, family structure, and receipt of food assistance. Social resources were a composite of family functioning, parental closeness, peer support, and parenting style variables.

Results Multivariable regression models that adjusted for sociodemographic factors, design effects (strata and clustering), and sample weights revealed a significant, positive, association between socioeconomic adversity and allostatic load (β = .10, p = .035), and a significant, inverse association between socioeconomic adversity and social resources (β = −.10, p = .013). Social resources did not relate to allostatic load and did not moderate or help explain the association of adversity with allostatic load (all p values > .05).

Conclusions Statistically significant, but small associations of socioeconomic adversity with both allostatic load and social resources were identified. The small effects may partially reflect range restriction given overall high socioeconomic adversity and high social resources in the cohort.

From the Department of Psychology (Gallo, Roesch), San Diego State University, California; Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Bravin, Savin), San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego; Department of Social Medicine (Perreira), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Feinberg School of Medicine (Carnethon), Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Delamater), Miami; UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) (Salazar), University of California, Irvine; San Diego State University Research Foundation (Lopez-Gurrola), California; and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Isasi), Bronx, New York.

Address correspondence to Linda C. Gallo, PhD, South Bay Latino Research Center, 780 Bay Blvd, Suite 200, Chula Vista, CA, 91910. E-mail:

Supplemental Content

Received for publication February 27, 2018; revision received October 29, 2018.

Copyright © 2019 by American Psychosomatic Society
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