227942 Factors that influence the health practices among Asian adolescents

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cynthia Ayres, PhD, RN , Rutgers College of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
Background: Research on adolescent health suggests overall differences across racial/ethnic groups in health promoting behaviors such as bicycle helmet, seat belt use, physical activity, and eating healthy diets. However, no studies have examined the factors which may contribute to the positive health practices (PHP) in Asian adolescents. Research that increases our knowledge of Asian adolescents' PHP has the potential to reduce the risks of disease in this age group, improve their health and longevity, and eliminate the health disparities among this ethnic/racial group. Purpose: This correlational study developed and tested theory to better understand PHP among Asian adolescents. It tested theoretical relationships postulated between PHP and (a) social support (SS), (b) optimism, and (c) acculturation, and between SS and optimism and acculturation. Optimism and acculturation were also tested as possible mediators in the relationship between SS and PHP. Method: A convenience sample of 163 Asian adolescents in an urban setting completed five questionnaires. Results: There were statistically significant positive relationships between SS (r = .44, p < .01) and optimism (r = .40, p < .01) with PHP, and between acculturation (r = .17, p < .05) and PHP. There was a statistically significant relationship between optimism (r = .59, p < .01) and SS. Optimism mediated the relationship between SS and PHP; acculturation did not. Discussion: Study findings contribute to the body of knowledge around PHP—which is an important first step in designing effective programs and interventions to increase the knowledge and implementation of PHP in this population.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least two factors that may influence the health practices among Asian adolescents. Design at least one theory based intervention to increase the knowledge and implementation of positive health practices among Asian adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conduct nursing research around disease prevention and health promotion activities with both a provider and patient/client focus. I am currently an Assistant Professor at a research intensive institution in the State, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and engage in both research and teaching activites related to adolescent 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.