Similarities and Differences Across Cultures: Questions to Inform a Third Generation for Health Promotion Research
AbstractThe increasing diversity of American communities raises an important question about the efficiency, appropriateness, and feasibility of tailoring messages and intervention strategies to target groups identified by race and ethnicity. To explore this issue, this article distinguishes race and ethnicity from culture and then discusses four questions: (1) What is the meaning of culture in health promotion? (2) What is the role of culture in understanding health behavior? (3) What is the role of culture in the design of interventions? and (4) What do the relationships of culture to behavior and to intervention mean for cultural tailoring? Based on this analysis, the authors suggest that effective health promotion will tailor interventions by culture as necessary but reach across cultures when possible and appropriate. A framework is presented to assess the need for cultural tailoring, and a new generation of health promotion research is proposed to facilitate cross-cultural comparisons.