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Biobehavioral aspects of health and aging among people of Mexican origin

TitleBiobehavioral aspects of health and aging among people of Mexican origin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWhitfield, KE, Angel, JL, Wong, R
JournalJ Aging HealthJ Aging Health
Volume23
Pagination1019-26
Date PublishedOct
ISBN Number1552-6887 (Electronic)<br/>0898-2643 (Linking)
Accession Number21948768
KeywordsAcculturation, Aging/ ethnology, Behavioral Research, Emigration and Immigration, Health Behavior/ ethnology, Health Status, Humans, Mexican Americans/ psychology, Terminology as Topic, United States
AbstractThere is a growing interest in developing a deeper level of understanding of the complex phenomena that make up the aging process. Efforts to pursue questions using a multivariate and ecologically valid approaches that include biological and behavioral factors have led to significant advances in our knowledge. This special issue presents a collection of papers that represent this "biobehavioral" perspective. Little is known concerning the biobehavioral aspects of Hispanic health and there is a dearth of systematic study of how individual biological factors interact with the environmental and cultural factors to affect health outcomes among the swiftly growing older population of Mexican origin, a subgroup of older minorities that exhibits unique morbidity and mortality patterns. The group of papers here represents important contributions to understanding the health consequences in later life for individuals of Mexican descent and addresses several areas of interest including but not limited to diabetes, cognitive impairment, metabolic syndrome, frailty, socio-economic status and contextual factors that impact health. The papers presented here use interesting and useful transdisciplinary approaches that increase our knowledge of health processes in older people of Mexican descent. This special issue also provides excellent examples of the critical linkages between biological variables broadly defined and traditional social stratification, social inequalities, and social justice and the ways in which they interact. The papers taken together suggest that the processes involved in aging and health are complex, particularly in people of Mexican descent, and requires the understanding of mechanisms at multiple causes and levels of analysis.