Fatalism, Religious Attendance, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Engagement in Health Behaviors Among Hispanic Americans low in Acculturation and Income: Testing the Reserve Capacity Model
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Although health disparities are widespread between ethnic and racial minority groups and Whites in the United States, Hispanics seemingly have a relative advantage in one particular health outcome: all-cause mortality. This advantage is most pronounced among the least acculturated Hispanics. Therefore, it is plausible that this phenomenon, known as the Hispanic Paradox, may be explained in part by social and cultural resources that are predominate in Hispanic cultures. These resources may buffer the negative effects of low socioeconomic status on health, as postulated in the Reserve Capacity Model. Fatalism is one such cultural value, and previous results have been mixed regarding its relationship with health outcomes in Hispanics. In White populations, studies tend to find a negative association between fatalism and health outcomes. To explain these divergent results, fatalism may be conceptually related to another socio-cultural resource, religiosity. Some studies have found an association between religiosity and fatalism. In general, religiosity— specifically religious attendance—is positively related to health outcomes and engagement in healthy behaviors. Most research has studied the connection between religiosity and fatalism to specific health outcomes, such as disease diagnosis or mortality, or health behaviors. Less research has considered the effects of religious attendance and fatalism on more general health outcomes, such as health-related quality of life. Furthermore, there is considerable variability in the results of these studies, suggesting a complex relationship and the possibility of moderating variables. Therefore, the present study used regression analyses to study relationships between fatalism, religious attendance, health-related quality of life, and engagement in healthy behaviors in a sample of 133 Hispanic Americans low in acculturation and socioeconomic status. It was hypothesized that the combination of high fatalism and high religious attendance would positively predict high levels of physical and mental health related quality of life and engagement in healthy behaviors. However, results showed that the interaction of fatalism and religious attendance failed to predict physical health related quality of life and engagement in healthy behaviors. And, contrary to my hypothesis, the combination of high fatalism and high religious attendance was related to low mental health related quality of life.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of the literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Measures