Theoretical foundations of the Study of Latino (SOL) Youth: Implications for obesity and cardiometabolic risk

Guadalupe X. Ayala*, Mercedes Carnethon, Elva Arredondo, Alan M. Delamater, Krista Perreira, Linda Van Horn, John H. Himes, John H. Eckfeldt, Shrikant I. Bangdiwala, Daniel A. Santisteban, Carmen R. Isasi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: This article describes the conceptual model developed for the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latino Youth, a multisite epidemiologic study of obesity and cardiometabolic risk among U.S. Hispanic/Latino children. Methods: Public health, psychology, and sociology research were examined for relevant theories and paradigms. This research, in turn, led us to consider several study design features to best represent both risk and protective factors from multiple levels of influence, as well as the identification of culturally relevant scales to capture identified constructs. Results: The Socio-Ecological Framework, Social Cognitive Theory, family systems theory, and acculturation research informed the specification of our conceptual model. Data are being collected from both children and parents in the household to examine the bidirectional influence of children and their parents, including the potential contribution of intergenerational differences in acculturation as a risk factor. Children and parents are reporting on individual, interpersonal, and perceived organizational and community influences on children's risk for obesity consistent with Socio-Ecological Framework. Conclusions: Much research has been conducted on obesity, yet conceptual models examining risk and protective factors lack specificity in several areas. Study of Latino Youth is designed to fill a gap in this research and inform future efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Acculturation
  • Children
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Obesity
  • Socio-Ecological Framework
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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