Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 259–269 | Cite as

Attitudinal familism predicts weight management adherence in Mexican–American women

  • Julia L. Austin
  • Jane Ellen Smith
  • Loren Gianini
  • Marita Campos-Melady


Adherence to behavioral weight management programs is often limited, especially among ethnic minority populations. The current study examined whether attitudinal familism, or attention to the needs of family above those of the self, predicted poorer adherence to a behavioral weight management program in Mexican–American women. One-hundred overweight or obese Mexican–American women from the southwestern United States were enrolled in a group-based weight loss treatment. Zero-order correlations indicated that general commitment to attitudinal familism, as measured by the Attitudinal Familism Scale, was significantly negatively associated with calorie and physical activity goal completion and marginally negatively associated with session attendance. The results of the current study indicate that researchers may consider addressing familism when developing tailored weight management interventions for Mexican–American women.


Weight loss Obesity Adherence Socio-cultural Familism Mexican–American 



This research was supported in part by an American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program Dissertation Grant, a University of New Mexico Graduate Research and Development Grant, and a University of New Mexico Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy Dissertation Fellowship. The authors also thank the New Heart Center of New Mexico and its staff for use of their facilities and clerical support. We are grateful to research assistants Jessica Alsup, Christine Tally, Alee Cavanaugh, Lucia Cordova, and Allison Conway, and therapists Jenny Rinehart and Kathryn Lenberg, Ph.D. We also thank the following individuals for their commentary on the project manuscript: Joel Yager, M.D., Eric Levensky, Ph.D., Steven Verney, Ph.D., and Bruce Smith, Ph.D.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia L. Austin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jane Ellen Smith
    • 1
  • Loren Gianini
    • 3
  • Marita Campos-Melady
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health PolicyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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