200292 Moving toward better health: Understanding health beliefs and readiness for lifestyle change in young, low-income African American men

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Keyonna M. King, MA , Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
In the context of health preventive behaviors, apart from issues related to ATOD, young African American men are one of the least understood and most underserved populations in public health. Yet we know that as a group, just some short years later, they will present with high rates of chronic diseases and many will prematurely die. In addition, recent research suggests high levels of undiagnosed depression in this group and men in this age group are least likely to have access to health care. African-Americans in low-income neighborhoods experience high levels of chronic stress due to oppressive social and economic conditions. With emergent clarity about the associations between socioeconomic status, chronic stress, and depression in the development of chronic disease, we need to direct more efforts toward developing culturally specific interventions that actively and respectfully engage these young men as partners. Using CBPR methods we worked in partnership with a group of young African American men between ages 18 to 30, recruited from community sites in a low income urban southern California community. We conduct exploratory Grounded Theory-based interviews (N=15) and validation focus groups exploring men's knowledge, beliefs, practices and barriers related to lifestyle changes, chronic disease, stress, and prevention. In a follow-up survey based on socio-ecological theory and our qualitative results we then explored feasibility and logistics for future preventive interventions. Results indicate lack of knowledge and perceived vulnerability, high levels of stress, stressful life events and undiagnosed depression as well as interest in preventive interventions if delivered respectfully.

Learning Objectives:
Identify 5 emerging themes from the qualitative work and their practical implications to working on lifestyle disease prevention with the young, low-income African American men. Identify 3 correlates to lifesytle disease prevention among young, low-income African American men Describe the study implications for the design of the pilot study for a lifestyle prevention intervention for young, low-income African American men.

Keywords: African American, Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-PI conducting the study with the young, low-income African American men in the community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.