Acculturation matters: risk perceptions of smoking among Bosnian refugees living in the United States

J Immigr Minor Health. 2008 Oct;10(5):423-8. doi: 10.1007/s10903-007-9107-1.


The relationship between acculturation and health behavior change is complex. Little research has focused on acculturation and perceptions of health-related risks. This study investigated acculturation and risk perceptions of heart attack and lung cancer among a group of refugees. Questionnaires were distributed to a sample of Bosnian refugees living in the United States (N = 55). Results indicated that smokers thought they were less at risk than other smokers and no more at risk than non-smokers, whereas non-smokers did not think they were less at risk than other non-smokers. Greater acculturation was associated with greater perception of smokers' risk of heart attack and lung cancer. Smoking cessation interventions with refugees should incorporate culturally appropriate risk information.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Social Perception
  • United States