Racial differences in health concern. Journal of the National Medical Association Voils, C. I., Oddone, E. Z., Weinfurt, K. P., Friedman, J. Y., Bright, C. M., Schulman, K. A., Bosworth, H. B. 2006; 98 (1): 36-42


An understanding of racial differences in risk-related affect may help explain racial differences in health behaviors and outcomes and provide additional opportunities for intervention. In phone interviews with a random community sample of 197 whites, 155 blacks and 163 Latinos, we assessed concern that respondents' health would be hurt by their diet, an inability to exercise, an inability to follow a doctor's recommendations and disease. A multivariate analysis of variance with follow-up profile analysis revealed that whites were less concerned than blacks and Latinos about an inability to follow their doctors' recommendations (ps < 0.01). There were no racial differences in the other health concern variables. Interventions to inform blacks and Latinos about their health risks must strike a balance between creating enough health concern to encourage health behavior but not so much that it interferes with health-promoting behaviors.

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