The Mexican Health Paradox: Expanding the Explanatory Power of the Acculturation Constructedit
The Mexican health paradox refers to initially favorable health and mental health outcomes among recent Mexican immigrants to the United States. The subsequent rapid decline in Mexican health outcomes has been attributed to the process of acculturation to U.S. culture. However, the construct of acculturation has come under significant criticism for oversimplifying complex relations between health, behavior, race and ethnic relations, and the environment. Moreover, measurement issues for the construct abound. This article reviews the current state of the acculturation debate, and argues for an integration of current theoretical perspectives and critiques of the construct in order to strengthen the explanatory power of acculturation with regard to the Mexican health paradox.