Health status perceptions and literacy among low income Mexican Americans in Texas-Mexico border colonias

G. Tamez Eloisa, Norma Martinez Rogers, Baaska Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine one or more characteristics of low income Mexican American residents in the South Texas-Mexico border region. Therefore, low income Mexican Americans (N=175) residing in South Texas-Mexico Border colonias were sought to participate in a study to determine the following broad predisposing factors: health history, health beliefs, health literacy, perceived health status and nutrition knowledge. The health history of the participants included the following components: anthropometric measurements (perceived and actual), a determination of their body mass index (BMI), skin fold measurements, an index of the activity level, and an assessment for acanthosis nigricans (AN). Method: An across-sectional descriptive study with convenience sampling was conducted in four South Texas-Mexico Border colonias. Descriptive statistics, the Wilcoxin Two Sample Test and the Chi Square/Kruskal Wallis Test were used. Results: A significant difference between males and females was the skin fold measurements (p < 0.0001) with females having greater measurements. Diabetics were older than nondiabetics and people with diabetes reported a greater degree of worry. Those born in the United States with English as the primary language had more years of education and were employed. Those with higher education had lower Chance Health Locus of Control (CHLC) and Powerful Others Health Locus of Control (PHLC) scores and higher nutrition knowledge scores. The participants generally perceived themselves as healthy; however, their physical measures (weight, nutrition knowledge, reported physical activity, and health literacy) were not congruent with these beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health Literacy
  • Health Perceptions
  • Health Status
  • Low-income Mexican Americans
  • Texas-Mexico Border Colonias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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