Ana Abraido Lanza

Ana Abraido Lanza
Ana Abraido Lanza

Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Professional overview

Dr. Ana Abraído-Lanza research interests include studying the cultural, psychological, social, and structural factors that affect health, psychological well-being, and mortality among Latinos; health disparities between Latinos and non-Latino whites; and the health of immigrant Latinos.  Her major publications on the Latino mortality paradox and on acculturation have contributed to national and international debates on the mental and physical health of Latinos specifically, and on general factors that influence immigrant health.  Dr. Abraído-Lanza is engaged in several important professional activities.  These include (among others) serving on the Editorial Boards of Health Education and Behavior, the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and Preventing Chronic Disease.  She has served as a committee or Board member on numerous scientific, professional and non-profit organizations and groups, including (among others) the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools, the Community Task Force on Preventive Services of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several National Institutes of Health review groups.  

Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Abraído-Lanza was Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.   She was the director of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at Columbia’s Mailman School, an education project funded by the National Institutes of Health, which aims to increase the number of under-represented researchers who enter biomedical and behavioral research careers in the field of public health.  Dr. Abraído-Lanza’s honors and awards include being selected as a Columbia University Provost Leadership Fellow.   She also received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, a Dalmas A. Taylor Distinguished Contributions Award from the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association, and the Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award from the American Public Health Association.

Education

BA, Psychology, New York University, New York, NY
MA, Psychology, City University of New York, New York, NY
PhD, Psychology, City University of New York, New York, NY
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, New York, NY

Areas of research and study

Acculturation
Behavioral Determinants of Health
Behavioral Science
Community Health
Cultural Determinants of Health
Health of Marginalized Population
Latino culture
Latino Health
Minorities
Minority Health
Population Health
Psychology
Social Behaviors
Social Determinants of Health

Publications

Publications

Are you better off? Perceptions of social mobility and satisfaction with care among Latina immigrants in the U.S.

Mendoza, S., Armbrister, A. N., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Social Science and Medicine

Volume

219

Page(s)

54-60
Abstract
Although the reasons for immigrating to the U.S. vary by Latino groups, many Latinos cite economic or political motivations for their migration. Once in the United States, Latino immigrants may face many challenges, including discrimination and blocked opportunities for social mobility, and difficulties in obtaining health services and quality health care. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in social mobility from the country of origin to the U.S. may relate to Latina women's health care interactions. We examined whether self-reported social mobility among 419 Latina women immigrants is associated with satisfaction with health care. We also examined the association among social mobility and self-rated health, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Upward social mobility was associated with greater number of years lived in the U.S., and downward social mobility was associated with more years of education. Those who reported no changes in social class (stable social mobility) were older and were the most satisfied with their medical care. Multiple regression analyses indicated that downward social mobility was associated with less satisfaction with care when controlling for demographic covariates, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Results suggest that perceived social mobility may differentially predict Latina immigrants’ satisfaction with the health care system, including their trust in U.S. medical institutions. We conclude that perceived social mobility is an important element in exploring the experiences of immigrant Latinas with health care in the United States.

Segmented assimilation: An approach to studying acculturation and obesity among Latino adults in the United States

Flórez, K. R., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Family and Community Health

Volume

40

Issue

2

Page(s)

132-138
Abstract
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 "thirdgeneration 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.

The Intersection of Fatalismo and pessimism on depressive symptoms and suicidality of Mexican descent adolescents: An attribution perspective

Piña-Watson, B., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

Volume

23

Issue

1

Page(s)

91-101
Abstract
Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to examine the role fatalismo beliefs and pessimistic attributions on depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and suicidality of Mexican descent adolescents. The major premise of this study is that it is the interaction between the level of negative attribution and fatalismo beliefs that explains the relationship with mental health outcomes, not the fatalistic belief itself. Method: A sample of 524 Mexican descent adolescents from a midsized city in south Texas was surveyed (age range = 14-20 years; M = 16.23 years; SD = 1.10 years). Results: Linear and logistic multiple regression analyses demonstrate that pessimism is independently and positively related to depressive symptoms, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. Predetermination and luck beliefs were not found to be independently related to any outcomes; however, there were significant interaction effects between pessimism and predetermination beliefs on suicidal ideation and plans. Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the need to study fatalismo multidimensionally, use culturally relevant measures, and account for attributions to understand the affect of fatalismo on mental health outcomes.

The joint contribution of neighborhood poverty and social integration to mortality risk in the United States

Marcus, A. F., Echeverria, S. E., Holland, B. K., -Abraido-Lanza, A., & Passannante, M. R.

Publication year

2016

Journal title

Annals of Epidemiology

Volume

26

Issue

4

Page(s)

261-266
Abstract
Purpose: A well-established literature has shown that social integration strongly patterns health, including mortality risk. However, the extent to which living in high-poverty neighborhoods and having few social ties jointly pattern survival in the United States has not been examined. Methods: We analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994) linked to mortality follow-up through 2006 and census-based neighborhood poverty. We fit Cox proportional hazards models to estimate associations between social integration and neighborhood poverty on all-cause mortality as independent predictors and in joint-effects models using the relative excess risk due to interaction to test for interaction on an additive scale. Results: In the joint-effects model adjusting for age, gender, race/ ethnicity, and individual-level socioeconomic status, exposure to low social integration alone was associated with increased mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.28-1.59) while living in an area of high poverty alone did not have a significant effect (HR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.95-1.28) when compared with being jointly unexposed. Individuals simultaneously living in neighborhoods characterized by high poverty and having low levels of social integration had an increased risk of mortality (HR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.35-1.96). However, relative excess risk due to interaction results were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Social integration remains an important determinant of mortality risk in the United States independent of neighborhood poverty.

The Power of Place: Social Network Characteristics, Perceived Neighborhood Features, and Psychological Distress Among African Americans in the Historic Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Flórez, K. R., Ghosh-Dastidar, M. B., Beckman, R., De la Haye, K., Duru, O. K., -Abraido-Lanza, A., & Dubowitz, T.

Publication year

2016

Journal title

American journal of community psychology

Page(s)

60-68
Abstract
African American neighborhoods have been historically targeted for urban renewal projects, which impact social composition and resident's health. The Hill District in Pittsburgh, PA is such a neighborhood. This research sought to investigate the extent to which social networks and perceived neighborhood social cohesion and safety were associated with psychological distress among residents in an African American neighborhood undergoing urban renewal, before the implementation of major neighborhood changes. Findings revealed a modest, significant inverse association between social network size and psychological distress (β = −0.006, p <.01), even after controlling for age, employment, education, and income. Perceived neighborhood safety predicted decreased psychological distress (β = −1.438, p <.01), but not social cohesion, which is consistent with past research. Findings suggest that social networks protect against psychological distress, but neighborhood perceptions are also paramount.

Breast Cancer Screening Among Dominican Latinas: A Closer Look at Fatalism and Other Social and Cultural Factors

-Abraido-Lanza, A., Martins, M. C., Shelton, R. C., & Flórez, K. R.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

Health Education and Behavior

Volume

42

Issue

5

Page(s)

633-641
Abstract
With the marked increase of the Latino population in the United States during the past 20 years, there has been growing interest in the social, cultural, and structural factors that may impede breast cancer screening among Latino women, especially among those subgroups that have been understudied. Acculturation and fatalism are central cultural constructs in these growing fields of research. However, there is great debate on the extent to which acculturation and fatalism affect breast cancer screening among Latinas relative to other social or structural factors or logistical barriers. Moreover, little theoretical work specifies or tests pathways between social, structural, and cultural determinants of screening. This study tests a theoretical model of social and structural (socioeconomic status and access to health care) and cultural factors (acculturation and fatalism) as correlates of mammography screening among Dominican Latinas, a group that has been understudied. The study expands prior work by examining other factors identified as potential impediments to mammography screening, specifically psychosocial (e.g., embarrassment, pain) and logistical (e.g., not knowing how to get a mammogram, cost) barriers. Interview-administered surveys were conducted with 318 Latinas from the Dominican Republic aged 40 years or older. Fatalistic beliefs were not associated with mammogram screening. Greater acculturation assessed as language use was associated with decreased screening. The strongest predictor of decreased screening was perceived barriers. Results highlight the importance of assessing various self-reported psychosocial and logistical barriers to screening. Possible avenues for screening interventions include intensifying public health campaigns and use of personalized messages to address barriers to screening. Results add to a limited body of research on Dominicans, who constitute the fifth largest Latino group in the United States.

How Neighborhood Poverty Structures Types and Levels of Social Integration

Marcus, A. F., Echeverria, S. E., Holland, B. K., -Abraido-Lanza, A., & Passannante, M. R.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

American journal of community psychology

Volume

56

Issue

1

Page(s)

134-144
Abstract
Social integration is fundamental to health and well-being. However, few studies have explored how neighborhood contexts pattern types and levels of social integration that individuals experience. We examined how neighborhood poverty structures two dimensions of social integration: integration with neighbors and social integration more generally. Using data from the United States Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we linked study participants to percent poverty in their neighborhood of residence (N = 16,040). Social integration was assessed using a modified Social Network Index and neighborhood integration based on yearly visits with neighbors. We fit multivariate logistic regression models that accounted for the complex survey design. Living in high poverty neighborhoods was associated with lower social integration but higher visits with neighbors. Neighborhood poverty distinctly patterns social integration, demonstrating that contexts shape the extent and quality of social relationships.

Havens of risks or resources? A study of two Latino neighborhoods in New York City

Martins, M. C., Diaz, J. E., Valiño, R., Kwate, N. O., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

Journal of Urban Health

Volume

91

Issue

3

Page(s)

477-488
Abstract
Research has been mixed on the potential risks and resources that ethnic enclaves may confer upon residents: whereas some authors characterize racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods through the lens of segregation and risk, others argue that these minority neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves that can improve the availability of resources to residents. In this study, we sought to assess two predominantly Latino New York City neighborhoods (one enclave neighborhood and one comparison) in the areas of structural resources (e.g., grocers, parks), cultural resources (e.g., botanicas, hair salons), and risks (e.g., empty lots, bars) by street-level coding in 20 census tracts (streets N∈=∈202). We used Poisson generalized linear models to assess whether enclave status of a neighborhood predicted the numbers of risks and resources on streets within those neighborhoods. Enclave status did not predict the number of risks (Rate ratio∈=∈1.08(0.83,∈1.42),∈χ 2(1, ∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈0.35,∈p∈=∈n.∈s.) or cultural resources (Rate ratio∈=∈0.87(0.54,∈1.40),∈χ 2(1,∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈0.34,∈p∈=∈n. ∈s.), yet it was associated with a higher number of structural resources (Rate ratio∈=∈1.90(1.48,∈2.43),∈χ 2(1, ∈N∈=∈202)∈=∈25.74,∈p∈<∈0.001). The results suggest that while living in an ethnic enclave may not reduce risks, it may help residents cope with those risks through an increased number of structural resources. These findings support theories that conceptualize ethnic enclaves as neighborhoods where greater resources are available to residents. The focus on resources within this work was instrumental, as no difference would have been found if a solely risk-focused approach had been employed.

Religion, fatalism, and cancer control: A qualitative study among Hispanic Catholics

Leyva, B., Allen, J. D., Tom, L. S., Ospino, H., Torres, M. I., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

American Journal of Health Behavior

Volume

38

Issue

6

Page(s)

839-849
Abstract
Objectives: To assess cancer perceptions among churchgoers and to examine the potential influence of fatalism and religious beliefs on the use of cancer screening tests. Methods: Eight semi-structured focus groups were conducted among 67 Hispanic Catholics in Massachusetts. Results: In this sample, there were few references to fatalistic beliefs about cancer and nearly universal endorsement of the utility of cancer screening for cancer early detection. Most participants reported that their religious beliefs encouraged them to use health services, including cancerscreening tests. Although participants agreed that God plays an active role in health, they also affirmed the importance of self-agency in determining cancer outcomes. Conclusions: Our findings challenge the assumption that fatalism is an overriding perspective among Hispanics. Catholic religious beliefs may contribute to positive health attitudes and behaviors.

Clashing paradigms: An empirical examination of cultural proxies and socioeconomic condition shaping Latino health

Echeverría, S. E., Pentakota, S. R., -Abraido-Lanza, A., Janevic, T., Gundersen, D. A., Ramirez, S. M., & Delnevo, C. D.

Publication year

2013

Journal title

Annals of Epidemiology

Volume

23

Issue

10

Page(s)

608-613
Abstract
Objective: Much debate exists regarding the role of culture versus socioeconomic position in shaping the health of Latino populations. We propose that both may matter for health and explicitly test their independent and joint effects on smoking and physical activity. Methods: We used the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, a population-based survey of the U.S. population, to estimate the prevalence of smoking and physical activity by language use (cultural proxy) and education among Latino adults (n=4929). We fit log binomial regression models to estimate prevalence ratios and test for interaction. Results: English-language use and educational attainment were each independently associated with smoking and physical activity. Joint effect models showed that individuals with both greater use of the English language and low levels of education were nearly three times more likely to smoke (prevalence ratio, 2.59; 95% confidence interval,1.83-3.65) than those with low English language use and high education (referent group); high acculturation and high education were jointly associated with increased activity (prevalence ratio 2.24, 95% confidence interval, 1.79-2.81). Conclusions: Cultural proxies such as language use and educational attainment are both important determinants of health among Latinos. Their joint effect suggests the need to simultaneously consider Latinos' socioeconomic position and their increased risk of adopting health-damaging behaviors while addressing culturally-specific factors that may mitigate risk.

Secular trends in the association between nativity/length of US residence with body mass index and waist circumference among Mexican-Americans, 1988-2008

Albrecht, S. S., Diez Roux, A. V., Aiello, A. E., Schulz, A. J., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2013

Journal title

International Journal of Public Health

Volume

58

Issue

4

Page(s)

573-581
Abstract
Objectives: We investigated whether associations between nativity/length of US residence and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) varied over the past two decades. Methods: Mexican-Americans aged 20-64 years from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) III (1988-1994), and NHANES (1999-2008). Sex-stratified multivariable linear regression models further adjusted for age, education, and NHANES period. Results: We found no evidence of secular variation in the nativity/length of US residence gradient for men or women. Foreign-born Mexican-Americans, irrespective of residence length, had lower mean BMI and WC than their US-born counterparts. However among women, education modified secular trends in nativity differentials: notably, in less-educated women, nativity gradients widened over time due to alarming increases in BMI among the US-born and little increase in the foreign-born. Conclusions: Associations between nativity/length of US residence and BMI/WC did not vary over this 20-year period, but we noted important modifications by education in women. Understanding these trends is important for identifying vulnerable subpopulations among Mexican-Americans and for the development of effective health promotion strategies in this fast-growing segment of the population.

Fatalism or destiny? A qualitative study and interpretative framework on Dominican women's breast cancer beliefs

Flórez, K. R., Aguirre, A. N., Viladrich, A., Céspedes, A., De La Cruz, A. A., & -Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Volume

11

Issue

4

Page(s)

291-301
Abstract
Background: A growing literature on Latino's beliefs about cancer focuses on the concept of fatalismo (fatalism), despite numerous conceptual ambiguities concerning its meaning, definition, and measurement. This study explored Latina women's views on breast cancer and screening within a cultural framework of destino (destiny), or the notion that both personal agency and external forces can influence health and life events. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 Latinas from the Dominican Republic aged 40 or over. Results: Respondents reported complex notions of health locus of control that encompassed both internal (e.g., individual action) and external (e.g., the will of God) forces shaping breast cancer prevention efforts. Furthermore, women actively participated in screening because they believed that cancer could become a death sentence if diagnosed late or left untreated. Discussion: In contrast to simplistic notions of 'fatalism', our analysis suggests complex strategies and beliefs regarding breast cancer and cancer screening that speak of resiliency rather than hopelessness.

Commentary: Fatalismo reconsidered: A cautionary note for health-related research and practice with Latino populations

-Abraido-Lanza, A., Viladrich, A., Flórez, K. R., Céspedes, A., Aguirre, A. N., & De La Cruz, A. A.

Publication year

2007

Journal title

Ethnicity and Disease

Volume

17

Issue

1

Page(s)

153-158
Abstract
Over recent years, interest has grown in studying whether fatalismo (fatalism) deters Latinos from engaging in various health promotion and disease detection behaviors, especially with regard to cancer screening. This commentary presents problematic issues posed by the concept of fatalism, focusing on research on Latinos and cancer screening. We discuss key findings in the literature, analyze methodologic and conceptual problems, and highlight structural contexts and other barriers to health care as critical to the fatalism concept. Although the need to better understand the role of fatalistic beliefs on health is great, we discuss the public health implications of reaching premature conclusions concerning the effect of fatalism on Latinos' cancer screening behaviors.

Health status, activity limitations, and disability in work and housework among Latinos and non-Latinos with arthritis: An analysis of national data

-Abraido-Lanza, A., White, K., Armbrister, A. N., & Link, B. G.

Publication year

2006

Journal title

Arthritis Care and Research

Volume

55

Issue

3

Page(s)

442-450
Abstract
Objective. To document disparities in health status, activity limitations, and disability in work and housework between Latinos and non-Latino whites with arthritis. We examined whether sociodemographic factors (age, income, and education) account for the disparities between the ethnic groups, and whether comorbid conditions, disease duration, health care utilization, and functional abilities predict health status, activity limitations, and work and housework disability after controlling for sociodemographic variables. Methods. We analyzed data from the Condition file of the 1994 National Health Interview Survey on Disability, Phase I. Results. The risk of worse health, activity limitations, and work and housework disability was >2 times greater among Latinos compared with non-Latino whites. In the regression models accounting for potential confounders, Latino ethnicity remained significantly associated with poorer health status, but not activity limitations or disability in work or housekeeping. Of the socioeconomic status variables, education had a significant protective effect on work disability and health status. Comorbid conditions and health care utilization increased the likelihood of worse health, activity limitations, and work disability. Limitations in physical function were associated with poorer health and disability in work and homemaking. Conclusion. Social status differences between Latinos and non-Latinos may account for disparities in activity limitations and disability in work and housework. Education may provide various health benefits, including access to a range of occupations that do not require physical demands. The findings help to address the great gap in knowledge concerning factors related to the health and disability status of Latinos with arthritis.

Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation?: Implications for the Latino mortality paradox

-Abraido-Lanza, A., Chao, M. T., & Flórez, K. R.

Publication year

2005

Journal title

Social Science and Medicine

Volume

61

Issue

6

Page(s)

1243-1255
Abstract
Relative to non-Latino whites, Latinos in the United States have a lower socioeconomic status (SES) profile, but a lower all-cause mortality rate. Because lower SES is associated with poorer overall health, a great deal of controversy surrounds the Latino mortality paradox. We employed a secondary data analysis of the 1991 National Health Interview Survey to test the health behavior and acculturation hypotheses, which have been proposed to explain this paradox. These hypotheses posit that: (1) Latinos have more favorable health behaviors and risk factor profiles than non-Latino whites, and (2) Health behaviors and risk factors become more unfavorable with greater acculturation. Specific health behaviors and risk factors studied were: smoking, alcohol use, leisure-time exercise activity, and body mass index (BMI). Consistent with the health behaviors hypothesis, Latinos relative to non-Latino whites were less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, controlling for sociodemographic factors. Latinos, however, were less likely to engage in any exercise activity, and were more likely to have a high BMI compared with non-Latino whites, after controlling for age and SES. Results provided partial support for the acculturation hypothesis. After adjusting for age and SES, higher acculturation was associated with three unhealthy behaviors (a greater likelihood of high alcohol intake, current smoking, a high BMI), but improvement in a fourth (greater likelihood of recent exercise). Gender-specific analyses indicated that the observed differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, as well as the effects of acculturation on health behaviors, varied across men and women. Results suggest that the health behaviors and acculturation hypotheses may help to at least partially explain the Latino mortality paradox. The mechanisms accounting for the relationship between acculturation and risky behaviors have yet to be identified.

Social support and psychological adjustment among latinas with arthritis: A test of a theoretical model

-Abraido-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2004

Journal title

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Volume

27

Issue

3

Page(s)

162-171
Abstract
Background: Among people coping with chronic illness, tangible social support sometimes has unintended negative consequences on the recipient's psychological health. Identity processes may help explain these effects. Individuals derive self-worth and a sense of competence by enacting social roles that are central to the self-concept. Purpose: This study tested a model drawing from some of these theoretical propositions. The central hypothesis was that tangible support in fulfilling a highly valued role undermines self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy, which, in turn, affect psychological adjustment. Methods: Structured interviews were conducted with 98 Latina women with arthritis who rated the homemaker identity as being of central importance to the self-concept. Results: A path analysis indicated that, contrary to predictions, tangible housework support was related to less psychological distress. Emotional support predicted greater psychological well-being. These relationships were not mediated by self-esteem or self-efficacy. Qualitative data revealed that half of the sample expressed either ambivalent or negative feelings about receiving housework support. Conclusions: Results may reflect social and cultural norms concerning the types of support that are helpful and appropriate from specific support providers. Future research should consider the cultural meaning and normative context of the support transaction. This study contributes to scarce literatures on the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between social support and adjustment, as well as illness and psychosocial adaptation among Latina women with chronic illness.

Reducing disparities in breast cancer survival: A Columbia University and Avon Breast Cancer Research and Care Network Symposium

Antman, K., -Abraido-Lanza, A., Blum, D., Brownfield, E., Cicatelli, B., Debor, M. D., Emmons, K., Fitzgibbon, M., Gapstur, S. M., Gradishar, W., Hiatt, R. A., Hubbell, F. A., Joe, A. K., Klassen, A. C., Lee, N. C., Linden, H. M., McMullin, J., Mishra, S. I., Neuhaus, C., Olopade, F. I., & Walas, K.

Publication year

2002

Journal title

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Volume

75

Issue

3

Page(s)

269-280
Abstract
On November 8th, 2001, faculty from Universities, government and non-profit community organizations met to determine how, separately and together, they could address disparities in survival of women with breast cancer in the diverse patient populations served by their institutions. Studies and initiatives directed at increasing access had to date met modest success. The day was divided into three sections, defining the issues, model programs, government initiatives and finally potential collaborations. By publishing these proceedings, interested readers will be aware of the ongoing programs and studies and can contact the investigators for more information. The Avon Foundation funded this symposium to bring together interested investigators to share programmatic experiences, data and innovative approaches to the problem.

The Latino mortality paradox: A test of the 'salmon bias' and healthy migrant hypotheses

-Abraido-Lanza, A., Dohrenwend, B. P., Ng-Mak, D. S., & Turner, J. B.

Publication year

1999

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

89

Issue

10

Page(s)

1543-1548
Abstract
Objectives: Relative to non-Latino Whites, Latinos have a worse socioeconomic profile but a lower mortality rate, a finding that presents an epidemiologic paradox. This study tested the salmon bias hypothesis that Latinos engage in return migration to their country of origin and are thereby rendered 'statistically immortal' and the alternative hypothesis that selection of healthier migrants to the United States accounts for the paradox. Methods. National Longitudinal Mortality Study data were used to examine mortality rates of the following groups for whom the salmon hypothesis is not feasible: Cubans, who face barriers against return migration; Puerto Ricans, whose deaths in Puerto Rico are recorded in US national statistics; and US-born individuals, who are not subject to either salmon or healthy migrant effects. Results. The sample included 301 718 non- Latino Whites and 17 375 Latino Whites 25 years or older. Cubans and Puerto Ricans had lower mortality than non-Latino Whites. Moreover, US-born Latinos had lower mortality than US-born non-Latino Whites. Conclusions. Neither the salmon nor the healthy migrant hypothesis explains the pattern of findings. Other factors must be operating to produce the lower mortality.

Psychological thriving among latinas with chronic illness

-Abraido-Lanza, A., Guier, C., & Colón, R. M.

Publication year

1998

Journal title

Journal of Social Issues

Volume

54

Issue

2

Page(s)

405-424
Abstract
This study utilizes a 3-year longitudinal design to explore factors that promote thriving among Latinas facing multiple adversity: poverty and chronic illness (specifically, arthritis). From a thriving paradigm, focus is placed on understanding the positive growth and thriving experiences reported by respondents, as well as the social, cultural, and personal resources that promote thriving. In the baseline interview, we employed a qualitative methodology to understand women's experiences of thriving. Women reported a variety of such experiences, the most frequent being enhanced appreciation of life. In the follow-up study, we created a thriving scale based on responses generated at the initial interview and prior research, then examined which of a number of social/cultural and personal factors predicted thriving 3 years after the initial assessment. Only measures of competence (self-esteem and self-efficacy) and psychological well-being were related to thriving. Path analyses testing the causal sequence of these variables revealed that negative affect contributed to decreased self-efficacy and self-esteem, but it did not have a direct or indirect effect on thriving. Greater self-esteem positively predicted thriving. In contrast, positive affect did not contribute to either measure of competence, but had a direct effect on thriving. Results suggest that psychological well-being (not ill-being) promotes thriving.

Social Support Interventions for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: The Cart before the Horse?

-Abraido-Lanza, A., & Revenson, T. A.

Publication year

1993

Journal title

Health Education & Behavior

Volume

20

Issue

1

Page(s)

97-117
Abstract
Enthusiasm about the potential of social support to promote successful adaptation to chronic illness has already led to support interventions for arthritis patients designed to increase coping ability, reduce the need for professional mental health services, and limit periods of disability. But have we put the cart before the horse? Do these interventions achieve these goals? Existing interventions are reviewed, and a number of research issues are addressed from within an ecological framework, including the content of support interventions, the source of support, the type of support provided, support as an intervention variable versus outcome, and the need to target interventions not only to patients but to their family members and health professionals. It is suggested that future interventions be more theoretically grounded.