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Culture's Impact on Health Risk Appraisal Psychological Well-Being Questions

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Objective: To discuss the impact of culture on the development and utilization of psychological well-being questions embedded in Health Risk Appraisals (HRAs). Methods: Using one HRA as a case study, an interpretive-hermeneutic metatheory is employed to situate these questions in cultural and historical context and indicate their underlying individualistic ideology. Results: HRA question development and client feedback are largely shaped by Western concepts of individualism, which do not consider the cultural perspective of collectivist societies. Conclusion: Culture determines how we define, think about, and understand health. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of culture's impact on health research and practice.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Community Health, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 2: Counseling Psychology, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 3: Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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