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Exposures Associated with Minority High Schoolers' Predisposition for Health Science

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Objective: We examined modifiable facilitation strategies (exposures) during high school that are associated with motiva- tion for minority youth pursuit of health science. Methods: A sample (N = 116) of minority (73% African-American/Black, 21% Hispanic/Latino) 12th graders from 6 high schools in a lower socioeconomic area bordering Washington, DC completed a self-administered survey. Path modeling was used to examine whether: (1) exposures: high school science courses, extra-curricular science activities, personal health experiences, and adult encouragement predict Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) constructs including attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, and (2) TPB constructs predict the outcome of intent to pursue college health science. Results: The path model indicated that adult encouragement was associated with attitude (p < .01), subjective norm (p < .01), and perceived behavioral control (p < .01); and personal health experiences were associated with attitude (p < .01). Attitude and subjective norm were associated with intent (p < .01). Conclusion: Motivating minority high schoolers from low socioeconomic areas through adult encouragement and personal health experiences to value health scientists and to perceive that others support their pursuit of health science may be pathways for facilitating their intention to pursue college health science.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-03-01

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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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