Relationship Between Cross-Cultural Health Attitudes and Community Health Indicators

Authors

  • Victoria L. Champion D.N.S., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. The authors are all affiliated with Indiana University School of Nursing and Osgood Laboratory for Cross-Cultural Research.
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  • Joan K. Austin D.N.S., R.N.,

    1. The authors are all affiliated with Indiana University School of Nursing and Osgood Laboratory for Cross-Cultural Research.
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  • Oliver C. S. Tzeng Ph.D.

    1. The authors are all affiliated with Indiana University School of Nursing and Osgood Laboratory for Cross-Cultural Research.
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  • The data were from the Atlas of Affective Meanings compiled by Professor Charles E. Osgood. The Atlas and related documents were entrusted to Professor Tzeng for continuation of cross-cultural research at the Osgood Laboratory for Cross-Cultural Research at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

Address correspondence to Victoria L. Champion, D.N.S., Department of Community Health Nursing, till Middle Drive, Indianapolis. IN 46202-5107.

Abstract

Improving health standards both nationally and cross-culturally is a goal for all community health nurses. Previous research has supported links between health attitudes and behavior. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between attitudes toward health and indexes of community health using a cross-cultural data set. Concepts selected from the data set were I (myself), body, sickness, disease, life, doctor, health, medicine, hospital, nurse, death, and insane. Community health indicators were male and female life expectancy, infant mortality, economic and public health expenditures, and net social progress. The original sample included 1200 high school males within each of 30 language and cultural communities. Data were derived from students' ratings of the dimensions of evaluation, potency, and activity for each concept. The results supported the association between attitudes and objective community health indicators. Unexpected negative correlations were found between attitudes toward medicine and nurse attitudes toward body and life, perhaps indicating that extended contact with health care providers may result in negative attitudes toward them. Positive relationships were found between public health expenditures and nurses, indicating that in countries with more expenditures for community and public health, attitudes toward nurses were more positive.

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