The influence of collectivism in attitudes about smoking among Hispanic youth
Minority groups will increase in the near future including the Hispanic population. Increasing health-related problems have already been documented among the Hispanic community and its youth. The present study examined the role of collectivism in enhancing attitudes and behaviors against smoking among Hispanic youth.
Using a pretest-posttest design, two curricula about smoking were developed and implemented among Hispanic 6th graders. Both curricula contained knowledge-based facts. However, the collectivist curriculum included an interdependent perspective, in which one's decisions and behaviors affect one's collective unit.
The results showed that students in the collectivist condition reported an overall decrease in tobacco use, an increase in having talked to their friends about smoking, an increase in the desirability of the conversation topics with their family and friends, and an increase in the desirability of their perceptions toward smoking-related views. The control condition, on the other hand, indicated the opposite results.
In addition, perceptions became more favorable for high collectivist students than low collectivist students. Students also tended to report more favorable perceptions and accuracy of their conversation topics when the condition reflected the students' degree of collectivism. These results strongly indicate that degree of collectivism should be considered for future prevention and intervention programs in smoking and tobacco use.