Refining acculturation measures for health research: Latina/o heterogeneity in the National Latino and Asian American Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study factor analyzes six scales relating to acculturation and related experiences among a nationally representative sample of United States-residing Latina/os (n = 2,541) from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), using measurement invariance (MI) testing to explore differences in latent constructs by Latina/o subgroup. Methods: Factor Analysis (FA) within an Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling framework was used to analyze the factor structure of six scales measuring acculturation and related experiences (i.e., acculturation [language use and preference], enculturation [ethnic identity], discrimination, neighborhood context, and family environment). We tested for MI by two important Latina/o subgroups: ethnic heritage and generational status. Results: The underlying latent factors resulting from FA strongly aligned with the NLAAS subscales. No scale achieved full MI, yet the degree to which MI held varied greatly by scale and by subgroup. Conclusions: Findings show that Latina/os are heterogeneous, but that this often depends on the construct and subgrouping of interest. Future research should use these scales in a latent framework, accounting for the lack of MI, to ensure that the underlying acculturative constructs of interest are validly measured when investigating their association with mental health outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Latinos
  • acculturation
  • factor analysis
  • measurement invariance
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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