Abstract

The current paper examines the relationship between social support, perceived social status and health in the context of the Hispanic Paradox. It was hypothesized that social support will predict perceived social status which, in turn, is an important factor in predicting physical health among Mexican immigrants. The current paper also hypothesized that stress mediates the relationship between perceived social status and health. Three hundred and twenty male and female Mexican immigrants (ages 18-79) completed questionnaires, wore ambulatory blood pressure monitors for 24 hours, and submitted blood samples. Results supported some, but not most hypotheses. Greater social support was related to higher perceived social status (p = 0.01) and stress mediated two indirect relationships between perceived social status and health outcomes. Specifically, as perceived social status increased calories consumed decreased (p = 0.01) and self-reported health improved (p = 0.02). Still, there were no direct relationships between perceived social status and health outcomes and only two stress mediated relationships. Implications of the results and future directions are addressed. The paper discusses the possibility that higher education and possible variations in degree of acculturation among study participants might have resulted in a unique relationship between perceived social status and health. The paper also addresses the role that a high LDS affiliation among participants might play in the relationship between perceived social status and health of Hispanic immigrants. Finally, the relationship between perceived social status and self-reported health as the study's most consistent finding is discussed.

Degree

PhD

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2010-02-25

Document Type

Dissertation

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd3382

Keywords

Hispanic Paradox, perceived social status, Hispanic immigrants

Included in

Psychology Commons

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