Culture

The missing link in health research

M. Kagawa Singer, W. Dressler, S. George, Claudia R. Baquet, Ronny A. Bell, Linda Burhansstipanov, Nancy J. Burke, Suzanne Dibble, William Elwood, Linda Garro, Clarence C. Gravlee, Peter Guarnaccia, Michael L. Hecht, Jeffrey Henderson, Daniel Hruschka, Roberto Lewis-Fernández, Robert Like, Charles Mouton, Hector F. Myers, J. Bryan Page & 9 others Rena Pasick, Bernice Pescosolido, Nancy Schoenberg, Bradley Stoner, Gregory Strayhorn, Laura Szalacha, Joseph Trimble, Thomas S. Weisner, David Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Culture is essential for humans to exist. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to identifying how culture works or developing standards to guide the application of this concept in health research. This paper describes a multidisciplinary effort to find consensus on essential elements of a definition of culture to guide researchers in studying how cultural processes influence health and health behaviors. We first highlight the lack of progress made in the health sciences to explain differences between population groups, and then identify 10 key barriers in research impeding progress in more effectively and rapidly realizing equity in health outcomes. Second, we highlight the primarily mono-cultural lens through which health behavior is currently conceptualized, third, we present a consensus definition of culture as an integrating framework, and last, we provide guidelines to more effectively operationalize the concept of culture for health research. We hope this effort will be useful to researchers, reviewers, and funders alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume170
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

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Health Behavior
Health
health behavior
health
Research
Research Personnel
work culture
population group
health science
Population Groups
Lenses
Consensus
equity
Guidelines
Health Research
lack
Health Equity
Reviewers
Equity
Cultural Processes

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural health
  • Culture
  • Culture and health
  • Culture defined
  • Culture of science
  • Culture, race, and ethnicity
  • Health disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Kagawa Singer, M., Dressler, W., George, S., Baquet, C. R., Bell, R. A., Burhansstipanov, L., ... Williams, D. (2016). Culture: The missing link in health research. Social Science and Medicine, 170, 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.015

Culture : The missing link in health research. / Kagawa Singer, M.; Dressler, W.; George, S.; Baquet, Claudia R.; Bell, Ronny A.; Burhansstipanov, Linda; Burke, Nancy J.; Dibble, Suzanne; Elwood, William; Garro, Linda; Gravlee, Clarence C.; Guarnaccia, Peter; Hecht, Michael L.; Henderson, Jeffrey; Hruschka, Daniel; Lewis-Fernández, Roberto; Like, Robert; Mouton, Charles; Myers, Hector F.; Page, J. Bryan; Pasick, Rena; Pescosolido, Bernice; Schoenberg, Nancy; Stoner, Bradley; Strayhorn, Gregory; Szalacha, Laura; Trimble, Joseph; Weisner, Thomas S.; Williams, David.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 170, 01.12.2016, p. 237-246.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kagawa Singer, M, Dressler, W, George, S, Baquet, CR, Bell, RA, Burhansstipanov, L, Burke, NJ, Dibble, S, Elwood, W, Garro, L, Gravlee, CC, Guarnaccia, P, Hecht, ML, Henderson, J, Hruschka, D, Lewis-Fernández, R, Like, R, Mouton, C, Myers, HF, Page, JB, Pasick, R, Pescosolido, B, Schoenberg, N, Stoner, B, Strayhorn, G, Szalacha, L, Trimble, J, Weisner, TS & Williams, D 2016, 'Culture: The missing link in health research', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 170, pp. 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.015
Kagawa Singer M, Dressler W, George S, Baquet CR, Bell RA, Burhansstipanov L et al. Culture: The missing link in health research. Social Science and Medicine. 2016 Dec 1;170:237-246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.015
Kagawa Singer, M. ; Dressler, W. ; George, S. ; Baquet, Claudia R. ; Bell, Ronny A. ; Burhansstipanov, Linda ; Burke, Nancy J. ; Dibble, Suzanne ; Elwood, William ; Garro, Linda ; Gravlee, Clarence C. ; Guarnaccia, Peter ; Hecht, Michael L. ; Henderson, Jeffrey ; Hruschka, Daniel ; Lewis-Fernández, Roberto ; Like, Robert ; Mouton, Charles ; Myers, Hector F. ; Page, J. Bryan ; Pasick, Rena ; Pescosolido, Bernice ; Schoenberg, Nancy ; Stoner, Bradley ; Strayhorn, Gregory ; Szalacha, Laura ; Trimble, Joseph ; Weisner, Thomas S. ; Williams, David. / Culture : The missing link in health research. In: Social Science and Medicine. 2016 ; Vol. 170. pp. 237-246.
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