Diverse Populations and Health Care

N512 Diverse Populations and Health Care

Module 3 Assignment

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People of African-American, European American, and Appalachian Heritage

Welcome to Module 3! In this and each of the following modules we will discuss the unique cultural characteristics of three cultural groups. The focus will be on the ethnocultural attributes that fall within the twelve domains of culture identified in the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence. This Module will explore the ethnocultural attributes of people of African-American, European American, and Appalachian heritage.

Time Requirements:

The amount of time required to complete assignments in this module is approximately 17 to 20 hours.


After completing this module, students should be able to:

Examine the family roles and organization of people from these cultures.

Contrast the workforce issues of these cultural groups.

Assess the bio-cultural ecology associated with the peoples of these three cultures.

Explore high-risk behaviors that are characteristic of individuals from these cultures.

Assess the implications of nutritional habits of these cultural groups.

Analyze the unique attitudes towards and practices of these people with respect to childbearing.

Analyze the death rituals and religious beliefs that characterize people from these cultures.

Integrate unique health care practices of these cultural groups into nursing care.


Purnell, L., & Paulanka, B. (2013). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis. (Chapters 6, 8, and 12)

Chapter 6: People of African-American Heritage

Chapter 8: People of Appalachian Heritage

Chapter 12: People of European-American Heritage


In this Module we examined the ethnocultural attributes of people from African-American, European American, and Appalachian heritages.

Although today it is common to find a patriarchal system in African-American families, a high percentage of families still have a matriarchal system and live below the poverty line. The head of the household is often either a single mother or a grandmother. African Americans adhere to a strong work ethic, but often experience racial or ethnic tensions. This can be defined as a “negative workplace atmosphere” motivated by prejudicial attitudes. During the past 20 years, significant improvements have occurred in the health status of African-Americans. Life expectancy has increased to 65 years for a male and 74 for African-American females. High-risk behaviors among African-Americans can be inferred from the high incidences of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, and sedentary lifestyles. African-American diets are frequently high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. They eat more animal fat, less fiber, fruit and vegetables than other Americans.

The European American culture is a blended culture resulting from early immigrants in the United States, primarily Caucasians from Europe, who adapted to and adopted one another’s cultures and, over time, have formed their own distinct, new cultures. Many other groups have assimilated and now self- identify with the European American culture as well. For most Americans, dominant cultural values and beliefs include individualism, free speech, rights of choice, independence and self- reliance, confidence, “ doing” rather than “ being,” egalitarian relationships, nonhierarchical status of individuals, achievement status over ascribed status, “ volunteerism,” friendliness, openness, futuristic temporality, ability to control the environment, and an emphasis on material things and physical comfort. Given the size, population density, and diversity of the United States, one cannot generalize too much about American culture. Many foreigners believe that all Americans are rich, everyone lives in fancy apartments or houses, crime is rampant, everyone drives expensive gasoline- inefficient cars, and there is little or no poverty. For the most part, these misconceptions come from the media and Americans who travel overseas.

Appalachians generally characterize themselves according to their family name and by their country of origin, such as the primary groups who settled this region of the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries. The original immigrants to this area were highly educated when they arrived, but limited access to formal education resulted in isolation of later generations and fewer educational opportunities. The traditional Appalachian household continues to be patriarchal, but many families are becoming egalitarian in belief and in practice. Publicly, parents impose strict conformity for fear of community censure and their own parental feelings of inferiority. Because many Appalachians value family, reporting to work may become less of a priority when a family member is ill or other family obligations are pressing. When family illnesses occur, many Appalachians willingly quit their jobs to care for family members.Compared with non- Appalachians, Appalachians are less concerned about their overall health and risks associated with smoking. Their use of smokeless tobacco is the highest in the U.S.Underage use of alcohol is widespread among teens.

Complete the following:

African-American case study #2

Appalachian case study #1

Case studies can be found in a folder on the course web page. They can also be located under your student resources

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