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Divine Interventions: Faith-Based Approaches to Health Promotion Programs for Latinos

Abstract

Few interventions have used faith-based approaches in health promotion programs among US Latinos, a notably religious population. This article explores the perceptions of church leaders, promotoras, and program participants on the Catholic religious context and content of a community-based intervention addressing physical activity, nutrition, and stress management for Chicago Latinas aged 50+. Nineteen in-depth interviews were conducted. Viewed as trustworthy, natural, and authentic, the church setting nurtured community bonds. Moreover, the program’s religious content encouraged Latinas to feel motivated, connected, and engaged with the program in meaningful ways. Overall, faith-based health promotion programs offer a promising approach for Latino-centered interventions.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the University of Illinois’s Center on Health, Aging and Disability for supporting this study. Special thanks go to Cristina Martinez-Singh and the Aging and Diversity Lab team. We would also like to thank all priests, promotoras, and participants for their active involvement in this project.

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Correspondence to Andiara Schwingel.

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Schwingel, A., Gálvez, P. Divine Interventions: Faith-Based Approaches to Health Promotion Programs for Latinos. J Relig Health 55, 1891–1906 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-015-0156-9

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Keywords

  • Latino
  • Hispanic
  • Women
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Faith
  • Religious content
  • Religious context
  • Catholic