Cultural Integration Approaches

Cultural integration approaches to devel- oping health programs focus on acculturation. Acculturation, the adoption and assimilation of another culture, affects behavior in that the less dominant group takes on behaviors of the dominant group. When planning programs, planners need to consider the degree of acculturation because it affects health beliefs and behaviors. Behavior is also affected when individuals identify with more than one culture to varying degrees so that bicultural individuals have health beliefs and behaviors that are a blend of the dominant and less dominant cultures. When targeting groups or individuals who identify with more than one culture, planners need to understand their health beliefs and behaviors as a “new” culture. This is particularly relevant for health programs targeting immigrants or first-generation U.S. citizens.

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