Latino Health

John M. Ruiz and Patrick Steffen

in The Oxford Handbook of Health Psychology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342819
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Latino Health


Latinos, like other minorities, have a significant health risk factor profile marked by educational, economic, and disease challenges. Yet, despite these disparities, Latinos appear to live longer than non-Hispanic whites, an epidemiological phenomenon commonly referred to as the Hispanic or Latino mortality paradox. This surprising finding casts doubt on the generalizability of several tenets of psychosocial health and health disparities and spurs new questions regarding the cause of such resilience. This chapter begins by describing the characteristics of Latinos in the United States, before reviewing the evidence and complexity of the Latino mortality paradox. Emerging explanatory models for such effects are discussed and a conceptual model to guide future research is presented.

Keywords: Latino; Hispanic; mortality paradox; Latino health; health disparities

Article.  12670 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology

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