Chapter

Handbook of Diversity Issues in Health Psychology

Part of the series The Plenum Series in Culture and Health pp 319-345

Designing Health Promotion Programs for Latinos

  • Felipe G. CastroAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University
  • , Kathryn CoeAffiliated withHispanic Research Center, Arizona State University
  • , Sara GutierresAffiliated withSocial and Behavioral Sciences and Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University
  • , Delia SaenzAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University

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Abstract

In this chapter we examine strategies in program design that include the politics of working with Latino1 communities. We also examine strategies for reaching hard-to-reach members of this population, for enhancing program effectiveness (effect size), and for maintaining initial gains in healthy behavior change. Our views are based on prior health promotion studies including our recent study, “Compañeros en la Saltier” (Partners in Health), which is a church-based study of cancer-risk reduction among Latinas, that is, Latino women.2 Health promotion in Latino populations is challenging, particularly when working with Latinos who live in low-income, disrupted communities where many unhealthy environmental conditions compete with efforts at health promotion. This challenge calls for a deeper understanding of the cultural, social, and psychological factors that must be addressed in designing potent and effective programs that succeed in promoting sound health in various Latino populations.