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Ethno-cultural and motivational dietary message tailoring: Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in African Americans

Abdul R. Shaikh, MHSc, Health Behavior & Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights (SPHII), Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, 734 647-9013, arshaikh@umich.edu, Rachel Davis, MPH, Dept. of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1420 Washington Heights (SPHII), Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, and Ken Resnicow, PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights (SPH II), 5009, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029.

Tailoring dietary interventions appears to have considerable promise, with the majority of studies over the past ten years demonstrating positive effects. However little is known about tailoring dietary interventions for African American (AA) populations. Like most Americans, AAs, on average, consume fewer than the recommended 5-9 F & V servings per day. Most prior tailored health behavior interventions have been rooted in the Health Belief Model (HBM), Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) as their primary heuristic framework. However, there are numerous intrapersonal and social factors conducive to tailoring that may affect dietary behavior beyond HBM, TTM and SCT constructs. This study, part of the NCI-funded Center for Health Communications Research, will focus on two novel tailoring constructs, motivational predisposition and ethnic identity to modify fruit and vegetable consumption in AA adults. Self-Determination Theory (SDT), developed by Deci and Ryan, conceptualizes a continuum of human motivation with three distinct subtypes, amotivation, extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation. Our project will examine whether individuals with different motivational predispositions may differentially respond to variants of motivational messages. The study will also focus on ethnic identity, which appears to be an independent predictor of health behavior. Messages will be tailored based on individual differences in ethnic identity. For example, we hypothesize that individuals who place high salience on ethnic identity will respond more favorably to messages that emphasize ethnic and cultural issues, whereas individuals who place low salience on race and ethnicity may prefer, and respond more favorably to “ethnically neutral” messages.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Communications, Ethnic Identity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Theory and Research in Health Communication

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA