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Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. are more likely to experience negative health outcomes the longer they live in the U.S. For example, over time Hispanic immigrants engage in riskier behaviors such as substance abuse, violence, and risky sex, and experience more depressive symptoms. The stress associated with the acculturation process, acculturation stress, and resilience at the individual, family, community, and societal levels appear to play important roles in influencing risks. However, little is known about the causal mechanisms linking acculturation stress, resilience, and health outcomes among Hispanic immigrants. Further, little is known about what precise types of stressors (e.g., occupational stress vs. discrimination) and resilience factors (e.g., individual coping vs. family support) have the most important influence on health trajectories of Hispanic immigrants. The proposed longitudinal study (N = 385) will investigate the effects of acculturation stress and resilience on co-occurring substance abuse, intimate partner violence, HIV risk, and depression (i.e., syndemic conditions) and biological stress among young adult Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. More specifically, the proposed project aims to: 1) test theoretical links between the cumulative impact of acculturation stress and resilience on syndemic conditions and biological stress among recent young adult Hispanic immigrants over a two-year period, and 2) identify the specific types of acculturation stressors and resilience factors at the individual, family, community, and societal levels that are most important in predicting syndemic conditions and biological stress among this population over time. Young adult low-income Hispanic immigrant men and women within the first 10 years of immigration will be followed for two years. Biopsychosocial data will be collected from participants at baseline, and then 6 months (FU1), 12 months (FU2), 18 months (FU3), and 24 months later (FU4). Culturally specific measures of acculturation stress and resilience will be used to assess for individual, family, community, and societal risk and protective factors for syndemic conditions. Blood and urine samples will be obtained from participants to measure systemic inflammation (IL 6, IL8, and IL 18) and oxidative stress (F2 isoprostanes), previously validated biomarkers for psychological stress. Various descriptive, univariate and multivariate statistics, including latent growth curve modeling, will be used to address aims 1-2. The findings from this study have the potential to identify risk and protective factors for the decay in heath among Hispanic immigrants. A precise and culturally informed understanding of these phenomena is foundational for designing interventions that can ultimately promote the health and wellbeing of Hispanic immigrants, the largest immigrant group in the U.S. This study also has the potential to lay the theoretical foundation for biopsychosocial health disparities research in other populations.
Objectives: General objective: To determine how acculturation to United States has influenced the health and cancer risk among a US migrant Sri Lankan population. Specific objectives: 1. To determine the prevalence of cancer and cancer related non-communicable diseases among Sri Lankan Sinhalese living in the greater Houston area. 2. To study the distribution of risk factors for cancer in this population. 3. To study the pattern of utilization of methods available for early detection of cancer in this population. 4. To study and compare the findings of this survey with that of the siblings of this population living in Sri Lanka.