Does One Size Fit All African American Smokers? The Moderating Role of Acculturation in Culturally Specific Interventions

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There is a consensus that interventions for ethnic minority populations should be culturally specific (CS). A previous study found that although African American smokers indicated a preference for CS self-help materials over standard materials, several outcomes were superior for the standard information (Webb, 2008). The current study reports on a priori analyses that tested level of acculturation as a moderating variable for the efficacy of CS interventions in a sample of low-income African Americans. Participants (N = 182) completed the African American Acculturation Scale-Revised before receiving a CS smoking cessation guide or a standard guide. As hypothesized, level of acculturation predicted evaluations of the intervention content, readiness to quit smoking, and 24-hr point prevalence abstinence at the 3-month follow-up. Lower levels of acculturation (i.e., more engagement in traditional African American culture) predicted a preference for CS materials and greater readiness to quit smoking after receiving the CS guide. Yet, among participants who were less acculturated, 24-hr abstinence was greater after receiving the standard guide. Overall, these findings emphasize that individual differences in levels of acculturation to the dominant culture affect receptivity to CS written interventions. Intragroup differences should be considered prior to the provision of CS interventions.

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