Health-Promoting Lifestyle Behaviors and Psychological Status Among Arabs and Koreans in the United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

Cultural variations among ethnic groups may differentially influence health and health behavior. We explored and compared health-promoting lifestyle behaviors and psychological status, including depression, anxiety, and stress, among Korean migrants (n = 117) and Arab nationals (n = 103) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pender's Health Promotion Model guided this research. The Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile was used to measure health-promoting lifestyle behaviors and Lovibond and Lovibond's Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale to measure psychological status. The data were analyzed using bivariate procedures and multiple linear regression. No group differences were found in total scores for health-promoting lifestyle behaviors or psychological status. Both groups scored high on self-actualization and interpersonal support; Arabs scored low on exercise, and Koreans scored low on health responsibility. Across groups, psychological status (β = −.390, p < .001), education (β = .239, p < .001), and gender (β = .238, p < .001) were significant determinants of health-promoting lifestyle behaviors in multivariate analysis. Ethnicity and religious attendance were not significant determinants. Education level had a moderating effect; for those with a lower educational level, psychological distress had a stronger negative effect on health behavior. Findings suggest considering cultural aspects, such as different values placed on physical fitness and social/interpersonal relationships, in developing and implementing health education and/or promotion programs. Assessment of psychological status (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress) should also be included in health promotion programs and related health policies for Korean migrants and Arab nationals in the UAE. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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