Gender, individualism-collectivism orientation, and program orientation influences on nutrition among Hispanic preadolescents
The present study examined the influence of gender and the individualism-collectivism characteristic on Hispanic youth's attitudes and behaviors about nutrition using a collectivist, individualist, and standard intervention program. The standard, collectivist, and individualist curricula were implemented in this pretest-posttest design. The Health Perception scale, Eating and Exercise questionnaire, Health Behavior Questionnaire, and interview responses were used to assess attitudes and behaviors. Data were collected from 146 Hispanic 6 th graders. The results indicated that females reported better perceived health and eating habits than males overall. Females who went through a collectivist intervention reported more control over food choices and remembered more information about healthy behavior than males and females in the other intervention conditions. In addition, males who went through the individualist intervention reported higher associations of health with well-being. These findings suggest that programs that incorporate the cultural dimension that is compatible with participants' cultural orientation along with gender could help improve attitudes and behaviors about nutrition.