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Integrated Connection to Neighborhood Storytelling Network, Education, and Chronic Disease Knowledge Among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles

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Combining key ideas from the knowledge-gap hypothesis and communication infrastructure theory, the present study aimed to explain the relations among individuals' education, access to community-based communication resources, and knowledge of chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, and prostate cancer) among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. Rather than explore the effect of isolated communication resources, this study explored the effect of an integrated connection to community-based storytellers on chronic disease knowledge. The authors hypothesized that individuals' access to a community-based communication infrastructure for obtaining and sharing information functions as an intervening step in the process where social inequality factors such as education lead to chronic disease knowledge gaps in a local community context. With random samples of African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles, the authors found that access to community-based communication resources plays a mediating role in the case of breast cancer and diabetes knowledge, but not in hypertension and prostate cancer knowledge. The authors discussed these findings on the basis of communication infrastructure theory and knowledge-gap hypothesis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Communication, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA 3: Department of Communication, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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