Enhancing cultural considerations in networks and health: A commentary on racial differences in family health history knowledge and interpersonal mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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In this commentary, I commend and expand upon the article of Lin et al., 'Racial differences in family health history knowledge of type 2 diabetes: exploring the role of interpersonal mechanisms.' In particular, the commentary discusses the role and importance of culture in family health history communication, as this topic is very relevant to Lin and colleagues' primary finding that in comparison to their White counterparts, African American families had uneven distributions of family health history knowledge due to them having fewer reciprocal health communication ties. I offer insights and suggestions regarding cultural influences on family health communication and the importance of incorporating cultural considerations in family networks studies. I also provide perspective on the translation of family networks and health study findings into the types of culturally appropriate interventions needed to activate family health history communication in racial and ethnic minority families. Information discussed has implications for future efforts seeking to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in family health history communication and knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-553
Number of pages4
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 17 2018



  • African American
  • Culture
  • Family health history
  • Health communication
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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