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African American Families: Perspectives of Health

  • By: Sharon Wallace Williams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Health care professionals and researchers know that African American families, similar to families of other racial or ethnic groups, are involved in providing and/or managing health for ill or disabled family members. It is also widely accepted that African American family members influence and are influenced by the health of their ill or disabled family members. The family helps to define the illness and/or health-related experience, navigate the medical system, and make medical choices. The family's involvement in these tasks can improve the health of the ill or disabled family member. Conversely, involvement in these health-related tasks can affect the physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual health of the family.

African American families are embedded in racial, cultural, and environmental contexts that can influence attributions of ...

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