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1.  Pushing the envelope for cultural appropriateness: Does evidence support cultural tailoring in type 2 diabetes interventions for Mexican American adults? 
The Diabetes educator  2011;37(2):227-238.
This study explores the potential utility of a culturally tailored diabetes management intervention approach by testing associations between acculturation and diabetes-related beliefs among Mexican American adults with type 2 diabetes.
Data from 288 Mexican American adults with type 2 diabetes were obtained via a bilingual, telephone-administered survey. Participants were drawn from a stratified, random sample designed to obtain maximum variability in acculturation. The survey assessed diabetes-related beliefs, intervention preferences, and three acculturation constructs from the Hazuda acculturation and assimilation scales: Spanish use, value for preserving Mexican culture, and interaction with Mexican Americans.
Only one outcome, preference for a program for Mexican Americans, was associated with all three acculturation variables. Spanish use was positively associated with belief in susto as a cause of diabetes, preference for expert-driven health guidance, and involvement of others in taking care of diabetes. Value for preserving Mexican culture was related to a more holistic view of health, as evidenced by an increased likelihood of consulting a curandero, use of prayer, and interest in a diabetes program with religious content. Value for cultural preservation was also related to higher suspicion of free diabetes programs. Interaction with Mexican Americans was associated with a belief that insulin causes blindness.
Findings from this study suggest distinct relationships between acculturation constructs and diabetes-related beliefs and preferences, this arguing against use of a single acculturation construct to determine diabetes intervention design. Cultural tailoring may enhance the cultural appropriateness and ultimate effectiveness of diabetes interventions for Mexican American adults.
PMCID: PMC3209710  PMID: 21343599
2.  Survey Response Styles, Acculturation, and Culture Among a Sample of Mexican American Adults 
Journal of cross-cultural psychology  2011;42(7):1219-1236.
A number of studies have investigated use of extreme (ERS) and acquiescent (ARS) response styles across cultural groups. However, due to within-group heterogeneity, it is important to also examine use of response styles, acculturation, and endorsement of cultural variables at the individual level. This study explores relationships between acculturation, six Mexican cultural factors, ERS, and ARS among a sample of 288 Mexican American telephone survey respondents. Three aspects of acculturation were assessed: Spanish use, the importance of preserving Mexican culture, and interaction with Mexican Americans versus Anglos. These variables were hypothesized to positively associate with ERS and ARS. Participants with higher Spanish use did utilize more ERS and ARS; however, value for preserving Mexican culture and interaction with Mexican Americans were not associated with response style use. In analyses of cultural factors, endorsement of familismo and simpatia were related to more frequent ERS and ARS, machismo was associated with lower ERS among men, and la mujer was related to higher ERS among women. Caballerismo was marginally associated with utilization of ERS among men. No association was found between la mujer abnegada and ERS among women. Relationships between male gender roles and ARS were nonsignificant. Relationships between female gender roles and ARS were mixed but trended in the positive direction. Overall, these findings suggest that Mexican American respondents vary in their use of response styles by acculturation and cultural factors. This usage may be specifically influenced by participants' valuing of and engagement with constructs directly associated with social behavior.
PMCID: PMC3171809  PMID: 21927503
3.  A New Audience Segmentation Tool for African Americans: The Black Identity Classification Scale 
Journal of health communication  2010;15(5):532-554.
Many health communications target African Americans in an attempt to remediate race-based health disparities. Such materials often assume that African Americans are culturally homogeneous; however, research indicates that African Americans are heterogeneous in their attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs. The Black Identity Classification Scale (BICS) was designed as a telephone-administered tool to segment African American audiences into 16 ethnic identity types. The BICS was pretested using focus groups, telephone pretests, and a pilot study (n=306). The final scale was then administered to 625 Black adults participating in a dietary intervention study, where it generally demonstrated good internal consistency reliability. The construct validity of the BICS was also explored by comparing participants’ responses to culturally associated survey items. The distribution of the 16 BICS identity types in the intervention study is presented, as well as select characteristics for participants with core identity components. Although additional research is warranted, these findings suggest that the BICS has good psychometric properties and may be an effective tool for identifying African American audience segments.
PMCID: PMC3151736  PMID: 20677057
4.  Challenges in Researching Racially Sensitive Topics in HMOs 
PMCID: PMC2735257  PMID: 19594260
HMO; health plans; health disparities; cultural sensitivity; ethnic identity; African American
5.  Ethnic Identity Predicts Loss-to-follow-up in a Health Promotion Trial 
Contemporary clinical trials  2010;31(5):414-418.
Higher rates of attrition in health research have been reported for African Americans (AAs). However, little is known about which AAs are more prone to drop out and why. One potential predictor that has not been explored is Ethnic Identity (EI). This study examined the association between EI and loss-to-follow-up among AAs enrolled in a health promotion intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
Five hundred and sixty AA adults from two integrated health care delivery systems in Atlanta and Detroit were enrolled into a randomized intervention trial. At baseline, all participants were classified into six EI core groups: Afrocentric, Black American, Bicultural, Multicultural, Assimilated, and High Cultural Mistrust. We examined loss-to-follow-up rates by these EI type.
Overall, 92 participants (16%) were lost to follow up. Loss-to-follow-up rates were higher among those classified as Afrocentric (24%) than those without an Afrocentric identity (13%). After adjustment for covariates, Afrocentric participants were 1.9 times (CI: 1.1 – 3.6) more likely to be lost to follow up than participants without this identity type.
Assessing EI of AAs in research studies may help identify groups at risk for dropout and/or non-response.
PMCID: PMC3117283  PMID: 20601162
Ethnic identity; African American; tailored health communication

Results 1-5 (5)