Conceptions of acculturation: A review and statement of critical issues

Maria Lopez-Class, Felipe González Castro, Amelie G. Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus citations


This article reviews evidence for re-conceptualizing acculturation status and acculturation process in health care research with United States (U.S.) Latino populations. Prior literature on acculturation has focused on: (a) acculturative change towards the dominant culture, (b) acculturation as it occurs with Mexican Americans, and (c) language as the principal component of acculturation. We review empirically based health research on acculturation and propose an ecodevelopmental framework for better understanding the process of acculturation. We then offer recommendations that may assist public health researchers, policymakers and program developers in better understanding "real world" acculturation. This includes understanding acculturation within this ecodevelopmental context for a more complete understanding of the acculturation process and its influences on health-related behaviors, with aims of reducing or eliminating health disparities in Latino populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1562
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Acculturation
  • Contextual approaches
  • Latino subgroups
  • Review
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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