214306 Relationship between acculturation and health promotion behaviors of Arab Americans

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ahlam Jadalla, PhD , Department of Nursing, Califronia State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Purposes: The purposes of this study were to (1) assess the health promotion and life-style practices of Arab Americans and (2) explore the relationship between these practices and acculturation patterns. Rationale/Background: While the influence of acculturation on the health behaviors of major immigrants' groups is well-documented in the U.S., assessments of health behavior of Arab Americans remain deficient and unsystematic. Method: Using self-report, a descriptive cross-sectional study of 297 adult Arab Americans living in California was conducted. Data included demographics, acculturation which was measured using Acculturation Rating scale of Arab Americans, and self-assessed health practices including cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and health promotion and lifestyle behaviors as assessed by the Health Promotion and Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II). Results: Higher attraction to the Arabic culture and gender predicted higher rate of smoking. The smoking rate among males (24%) was significantly higher than among females (5%). Attraction to American culture and religion predicted alcohol use and the overall rate among participants was 14%. Significant associations existed between demographics (age, income, and education) and certain health promotion practice. Higher overall health promotion scores were positively associated with acculturative patterns, whereas attraction to American culture was the single most important predictor of physical activity; attraction to Arabic culture was of stress management practices. Conclusion/Implications: Findings suggest that, when demographic variables are controlled, health behaviors are differentially associated with acculturation. Although the findings of this study are most representative of Arab Americans, they contribute to a deeper understanding of immigrants' health practices in general.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the health prmotion behaviors among Arab Americans. 2. Evaluate the role of acculturation in the health practices of Arab Americans.

Keywords: Adult Health, Ethnic Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have done this research with Arab Americans and I teach courses on cultural diversity and health.
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.