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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

RAMIREZ, Mónica Teresa González; HERNANDEZ, René Landero  and  DIAZ, Miguel Ángel Ruiz. A structural equation model for predictors of mental and physical health in women. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.2, pp. 101-108. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000200005.

OBJECTIVE: To measure the extent to which stress, social support, and self-esteem are predictors of an individual's mental and physical health. Structural equations were integrated with previously-estimated partial models, which simplify the relationships among variables. METHODS: The study sample included 283 women with children. All of the participants resided in the municipality of General Escobedo, state of Nuevo León, Mexico. The surveys were carried out in the second semester of 2003, in the participants homes, using self-evaluation questionnaires to measure each of the variables included in the model. Each participant completed the questionnaire in one sitting. Results were analyzed with AMOS 5.0, employing the maximum likelihood method, often utilized in structural equation models. RESULTS: The results indicate an acceptable adjustment in the proposed model: (c2/gl = 3.03, goodness of fit (GFI) = 0.894, adjusted goodness of fit (AGFI) = 0.848, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.08, incremental fit index (IFI) = 0.910). Variances were 31.9% with regard to stress, 27.4% with regard to physical health, and 72.1% with regard to mental health. CONCLUSIONS: Social support and self-esteem are predictors of stress; age and stress are predictors of physical health; and stress, self-esteem, and physical health are predictors of mental health.

Keywords : Health; mental health; stress; Mexico.

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