The Role of Language Use in Reports of Musculoskeletal Pain Among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective:This study examined the role of English language use in the reported frequency of musculoskeletal pain among Hispanic and non-Hispanic White youth. Method: This is a secondary data analysis using a cross-sectional sample of 12,189 Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adolescents recruited for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Respondents were classified into three groups: (a) English-speaking non-Hispanic Whites, (b) English-speaking Hispanics, and (c) Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Results: After controlling for body mass index and demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral variables, Spanish-speaking Hispanics reported the least frequent musculoskeletal pain (OR = 0.415, 95% CI [0.361, 0.477]; p < .001), followed by English-speaking Hispanics (OR = 0.773, 95% CI [0.690, 0.865]; p < .001). Conclusion: The experience of musculoskeletal pain is a physiological as well as a cultural phenomenon. Implications for Practice: Health care providers should consider the role of language use in reports of pain in Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adolescents.

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