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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The SOL Youth study was supported by grant number R01HL102130 from the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute (NHLBI). The children in SOL Youth are drawn from the study of adults: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which was supported by contracts from NHLBI to the University of North Carolina ( N01-HC65233 ), University of Miami ( N01-HC65234 ), Albert Einstein College of Medicine ( N01-HC65235 ), Northwestern University ( N01-HC65236 ), and San Diego State University ( N01-HC65237 ). The following Institutes/Centers/Offices contribute to the HCHS/SOL through a transfer of funds to NHLBI: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Office of Dietary Supplements. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NHLBI or the National Institutes of Health.


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

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