Acculturation and tobacco smoking among Arab Americans
University of Kansas
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Despite the extensive research on smoking, it is still considered one of the highest causes of deaths in the U.S. Although Arab Americans came from countries where smoking ratios are among the highest in the world, very limited information is available about their smoking patterns and behavior after they move to live in the U.S. An important concept in understanding smoking patterns and behavior among Arab Americans is acculturation. It is a complex process that may modify or change immigrants' social life, communication style, and lifestyle. The purpose of this study was to describe the Arab Americans smoking patterns and behavior, and investigate the relationship between tobacco dependence, smoking behavior change, and acculturation. Design. this was a cross-sectional descriptive exploratory correlational study designed to elicit information from 96 smoker and ex-smoker participants from three different sites in the Midwest and Southwest. Results. showed that 81.3% of the participants were men. Mean age of participants was 35.3 (range 19-60). Most of the Arab Americans who participated in this study smoked (70.8%) and more than 62% of them have lived in the U.S. for 5 years or more. Majority of the participants (80%) reported having one or more of their family members who smoked, and 88% have at least one friend who smoked cigarette. Pearson correlational analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between specific acculturation behaviors and tobacco dependence, and between tobacco exposure and tobacco dependence. The strongest predictor of smoking behavior stage of change was tobacco exposure. We also found significant correlations between acculturation scales and cons of smoking. Conclusions. family and peers smoking are considered the most critical factor contribute to tobacco smoking in this population. Arab Americans who behave mostly like their ethnic peers and spend more time with them are more dependent on tobacco and do not feel embarrassed to smoke among others. Implications. there should be a tobacco prevention intervention programs designed specifically for this minority group. In order to be effective, these programs should include smokers and their family and friends as well.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of Kansas, Nursing, 2007.
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