Health Status Perceptions and Literacy among Low Income Mexican Americans in Texas–Mexico Border Colonias

By Eloisa G. Tamez, Norma Martinez Rogers and Baaska Anderson.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine one or more characteristics of low income Mexican American residents in the South Texas-Mexico border region. Therefore, low income Mexican Americans (N=175) residing in South Texas–Mexico Border colonias were sought to participate in a study to determine the following broad predisposing factors: health history, health beliefs, health literacy, perceived health status and nutrition knowledge. The health history of the participants included the following components: anthropometric measurements (perceived and actual), a determination of their body mass index (BMI), skin fold measurements, an index of the activity level, and an assessment for acanthosis nigricans (AN). Method: An across-sectional descriptive study with convenience sampling was conducted in four South Texas–Mexico Border colonias. Descriptive statistics, the Wilcoxin Two Sample Test and the Chi Square/Kruskal Wallis Test were used. Results: A significant difference between males and females was the skin fold measurements (p < 0.0001) with females having greater measurements. Diabetics were older than nondiabetics and people with diabetes reported a greater degree of worry. Those born in the United States with English as the primary language had more years of education and were employed. Those with higher education had lower Chance Health Locus of Control (CHLC) and Powerful Others Health Locus of Control (PHLC) scores and higher nutrition knowledge scores. The participants generally perceived themselves as healthy; however, their physical measures (weight, nutrition knowledge, reported physical activity, and health literacy) were not congruent with these beliefs.

Keywords: Health Status, Health Perceptions, Health Literacy, Low-income Mexican Americans, Texas–Mexico Border Colonias

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.43-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 706.533KB).

Eloisa G. Tamez

Associae Professor, Assistant Dean Graduate Nursing Education, College of Nursing, University of Texas, Brownsville, USA

Dr. Eloisa G. Taméz is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Graduate Nursing Education in the College of Nursing. Dr. Eloisa G. Taméz was formerly Chief Nurse, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Nurse Corps, United States Army Reserve. Dr. Eloisa G. Taméz is the recipient of various awards including the “A” Proficiency Designator, the Army Medical Department and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Eloisa G. Taméz is also the recipient for Henry B. Gonzalez Human Rights Award, by the Texas Civil Rights Project, and is Colonel and Commander of the Rio Grande Valley Group of the Texas Medical Brigade, the Texas State Guard.

Norma Martinez Rogers

Professor/Clinical, University of Texas, San Antonio, USA

Baaska Anderson

University of Liverpool, UK