America’s rural Hispanic population is growing at an unprecedented rate. Many of the Hispanic people that are settling in rural communities are immigrants or first generation Americans. If changes to current healthcare systems are required to accommodate the health needs of this growing, low-income rural population they have not been clearly identified, nor have the healthcare needs of this population.
The sample in this study consisted of 112 families, a sub-sample of families enrolled in the multi-state Rural Families Speak Project. This longitudinal research project was designed to track the well-being of rural low-income families between 1999 and 2003, the years following federal welfare reform. Sample data are both quantitative and qualitative.
Hispanics are in better self-reported health than are non-Hispanic whites despite significantly lower levels of insurance coverage, less knowledge of community resources and other disadvantages, in this sample of rural low-income families. If the superior self-reported health of rural low-income Hispanics in this sample is real, it remains unclear if or how long it will persist in the face of pressures to acculturate.
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