Acculturation: Implications for Perinatal Research


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Abstract

It is estimated that by 2009, Hispanics will have the highest birthrates for any minority group in the United States. Acculturation in Hispanic women of childbearing age is a critical aspect that researchers and clinicians need to consider with this population. Conceptualization and measurement issues of acculturation are addressed in this article. A framework for the complex task of acculturation research is presented. In the latter part of the article, a review of perinatal studies, in which measurement of acculturation in Hispanic women was included, is summarized for research on birthweight, breastfeeding, and postpartum depression. Implications for clinical practice with Hispanic women are hindered owing to methodological limitations of perinatal acculturation research identified in this article.

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