Health communication in the Latino community: Issues and approaches

John P. Elder, Guadalupe X. Ayala, Deborah Parra-Medina, Gregory A. Talavera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


With reference to the Communication-Persuasion model, we describe various research issues and challenges when considering the health of Latinos, and implications for designing and evaluating health communication and behavior change efforts in this population. Latinos, collectively the nation's largest minority group, vary substantially in terms of socioeconomic and legal status, their country of origin and the extent of ongoing contact with that country, their region of residence within the United States, their generation status and levels of acculturation, and psychosocial factors. Health communication efforts with Latinos need to focus on family, cultural traditions, and collectivism while attending to acculturation, language, generation and national origin. The most extensive intervention topic in Latino health promotion has been the application of the lay health advisor model. This and other fundamental communication approaches, as well as audience and population characteristics, need to be considered within the context of dynamic and complex societal changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-251
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Communication-persuasion model
  • Hispanic health paradox
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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