Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Israel Cuellar

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynette Heslet

Third Advisor

Dr. Roy E. Cain


Mexican Americans have a higher incidence of obesity than non-Hispanic whites, yet this population seems to be less concerned with maintaining an ideal body weight than non-Hispanic whites. This puts the Mexican Americans population at higher risk for illnesses associated with increased body fat and obesity. One important factor found to influence health maintenance behavior is perceived self-efficacy, or the degree to which the individual feels capable of effectively managing his or her behavioral outcome. This study examines the moderating effect of health competency and health value on body weight in individuals undergoing acculturation.

Although no significant correlations were found among Perceived Health Competency Scale scores, Body Mass Index, and Acculturation level scores, a significant negative correlation was found between Health Value Scale scores and Acculturation level. These findings suggest that as Mexican Americans acculturate to the majority culture the value they place on health diminishes. The role that the process of acculturation plays in the maintenance of health value and the implications for the Mexican American community are also discussed.


Copyright 1998 Roberto Eliud Maldonado. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American