Acculturation status and sexuality among female Cuban American college students

Marcela Raffaelli, Byron L. Zamboanga, Gustavo Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The authors examined relations among different measures of acculturation, and between acculturation and sexual behavior, in a sample of female Cuban American college students (n = 61, M age = 18.4 years) who completed self-report surveys. In the first set of analyses, weak to moderate associations emerged among 4 measures of acculturation (birthplace, childhood language use, current language use, and ethnic identity), suggesting that inconsistent findings from prior research may have resulted from measurement limitations. In multivariate analyses, the authors examined predictors of sexual behavior and found that 1 aspect of acculturation (higher levels of ethnic identity) and background characteristics (being older and less religious) were associated with voluntary sexual intercourse. Moreover, higher levels on a sexual risk composite were associated with being born in the United States, more ethnically identified, older, and less religious. These analyses highlight the need for specificity in assessing acculturation in a college student population and support the need to examine cultural factors directly in sexuality research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Cuban Americans
  • Sexuality
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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