Author's School

Brown School of Social Work

Author's Department/Program

Social Work


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Shanta Pandey


The foreign born population is an integral part of U.S. society and continues to experience a steady numerical increase. This study uses longitudinal data to determine the effects of culture and acculturation on the health behaviors of the foreign born. Drawing from the behavioral model of health service utilization for vulnerable populations: Gelberg, Andersen, & Leake, 2000), the assets effects model: Schreiner & Sherraden, 2007; Sherraden, 1991), and acculturation models and using generalized linear, latent, and mixed models: GLLAMM), the study constructs longitudinal models to establish the determinants of health behaviors: recreational physical activity, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking) through the trajectory of earned income and acquired assets. The study finds several key institutions that are instrumental in explaining health behaviors namely culture, language, and employment. The implications of these findings which are highly relevant to professions that work to improve the health of foreign-born communities in the country are discussed in detail.


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