160843 African Americans, health behaviors, and acculturation: Does age matter?

Monday, November 5, 2007: 3:15 PM

Melanie Rouse, MSHP , Health Services Research Program, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Jan Warren-Findlow, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Rachel Seymour, PhD , Institute for Health Research and Policy, Center for Research on Health and Aging, Chicago, IL
Differences in the level of acculturation in African Americans have been shown to be associated with variations in health behaviors within this group. Few studies have examined the association by age group. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between acculturation and health behaviors by age group among African American men and women in Charlotte, NC. African Americans (n=150) age 25 and older completed the African American Acculturation Scale (AAAS) and a questionnaire about their health behaviors and other demographic information. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between acculturation (using the total scale score and individual subscale scores) and lifestyle health behaviors including: smoking, consumption of fruits and vegetables, eating fewer sweets, salting food, and drinking reduced fat milk. Findings reveal that the association between acculturation and certain health behaviors varies by age group. Among participants below 50 years of age, being less acculturated was found to be significantly positively associated with being a current or former smoker and having poor dietary practices (regression coefficient [RC]=18.14, 95% confidence interval [95 CI] 13.12, 23.16; RC=19.23, 95 CI 13.79-24.68; RC=16.62, 95 CI 11.31-21.93, respectively). The reverse was true for those in the 50 years and above group, with being a former smoker having a positive association with being traditionally African American (RC=1.26, 95 CI -0.17-2.69). The findings in the older age group are inconsistent with previous research on this topic. More research is needed to assess age group differences in the relationship between acculturation and health behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize that the association between level of acculturation and health behaviors among African Americans may vary by age. 2.Constructively critique the findings of previous studies examining the relationship between acculturation and health behaviors in African Americans.

Keywords: Culture, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.