What are we missing? Risk behaviors among Arab-American adolescents and emerging adults

Michelle L. Munro-Kramer, Nicole M. Fava, Melissa A. Saftner, Cynthia S. Darling-Fisher, Nutrena H. Tate, Sarah A. Stoddard, Kristy K. Martyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Research on Arab-Americans as a distinct ethnic group is limited, especially when considering the health of Arab-American youth. This study describes health risk (substance use, violence); health promotive behaviors (hope, spirituality); and sexual activity (oral, vaginal, anal sex) of Arab-American adolescents and emerging adults (aged 15–23) within their life context, as well as the association between these behaviors. Methods: A secondary analysis of data on a subset of Arab-American participants obtained from a randomized-control trial was utilized to conduct mixed methods analyses. Qualitative analyses completed on the open-ended questions used the constant comparative method for a subsample (n = 24) of participants. Descriptive quantitative analyses of survey data utilized bivariate analyses and stepwise logistic regression to explore the relation between risk behaviors and sexual activity among the full sample (n = 57). Conclusions: Qualitative analyses revealed two groups of participants: (a) multiple risk behaviors and negative life-events, and (b) minimal risk behaviors and positive life-events. Quantitative analyses indicated older youth, smokers, and those with higher hope pathways were more likely to report vaginal sex. Implications for practice: The unique cultural and social contexts of Arab-American youth provide a framework for recommendations for the prevention of risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-502
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Access Community Health and Research Center, the Washtenaw County Public Health Department, and Eastern Michigan University?University Health Services for their assistance with recruitment and data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
©2016 American Association of Nurse Practitioners


  • Adolescents
  • cultural assessment
  • health assessment
  • health promotion
  • prevention


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