Background Information

General information that could be helpful in assessing older persons from Hispanic/Latino background includes how they define their ethnicity, and the degree of affiliation they have with their ethnic population, level of acculturation, religion, and formal/informal support. Several acculturation instruments exist and have been used widely for research with Hispanic/Latino subjects (Cuellar, Harris, Jasso, 1980; Marin, Sabogal, Marin, Otero-Sabogal, Perez-Stable, 1987; Ramirez, Cousins, Santos, Supik, 1986; Deyo, Diehl, Hazuda, & Stern, 1985).

These scales may or may not be useful in clinical settings. Although immigration history may be important, it may be difficult to ask directly in populations such as Mexican American who have been subject to periodic sweeps for deportation from Immigration and Naturalization Services.