A quantitative research study was conducted to assess the degree of correlation between a Mexican American's level of acculturation and their expectations and perceptions of a dental service encounter. This study was conducted to help address the disproportionate number of oral health issues faced by racial and ethnic minorities. Two validated survey instruments were adapted into a questionnaire that was used for data collection, ARSMA-II SV and SERVQUAL. A service scenario was provided from which the respondents based their dental service perceptions. The research was conducted in Central Texas using a convenience sample of 307 Mexican-American participants representing five ARSMA levels of acculturation, and an Anglo group derived through Catholic churches. Using multiple regression analysis, the findings indicated that the service expectations of Mexican-Americans (M=18.41; p=.001) are lower than those of Anglos (M=20.94; p=.001). It was also discovered that the aggregate dental service perceptions of Mexican-Americans are higher (M=17.84; p=.001) than those of Anglos (M=16.04; p=.001). When comparing Mexican-American groups by level of acculturation, it was found that the expectations of the Mexican-American respondents were not homogeneous. The service expectations for respondents in who were classified in Levels 1 (MD=17.81; p=.007) and 2 (MD=17.61; p=.007) were lower than the service expectations of the more acculturated respondents who were classified in Levels 4 (MD=19.71; p=.007) and 5 (MD=19.51; p=.007). Finally, it was found that a great disparity existed between the least acculturated (MD=.895; p=.001) and the most acculturated (MD=-.241; p=.001) in terms of assessed degree of overall satisfaction. Given these facts, it is recommended that dental practitioners who target consumers of lower levels of acculturation create a service strategy that is different from dentists who target a largely Anglo or highly acculturated Mexican American market.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Marketing, Ethnic studies, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||ARSMA, Acculturation, Dental services, Dentist, Ethnic, Mexican-American, SERVQUAL, Service marketing|
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