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Optimizing Health Literacy and Community Engagement in Relation to Active Living with Edmonton’s Newcomer Young People and their Families Open Access


Author or creator
Higginbottom, G.
Richter, S.
Vallianatos, H.
Yohani, S.
Dassanayake, J.
Mogale, R.S.
Additional contributors
active living
community engagement
health literacy
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Conference/workshop Poster
Canada, Alberta, Edmonton
Canada is a multicultural country where immigration plays an important role in population growth and the country’s economy. Despite this, some newcomers such as those who hold refugee status, experience greater ill-health than the general population. Moreover, many immigrants and refugees (both considered newcomers) may not have sufficient health literacy. Our purpose was to obtain an understanding of health literacy and active living amongst young newcomers, and of factors that promote engagement of newcomer families in active living and healthy eating. We utilized a mixed methodological approach using a systematic review, a quality-of-life tool, photovoice, and interviews. Photo-assisted focus group interviews were employed with 36 youth, representing 22 ethnocultural backgrounds, while they attended summer leadership programs provided by the public school board and community/ ethnocultural organizations. Nineteen of the youth’s parents were interviewed individually. Roper and Shapira’s framework guided qualitative data analysis and ATLAS.ti software was utilized. Immigrant and refugee families experience barriers to participation in recreational activities due to i) financial and time constraints, ii) lack of transportation, iii) cultural differences in perceptions of active living, and iv) experiences of discrimination/racism in public recreational facilities. While many families take initiative to contact available organizations to obtain information, many cannot easily access Canadian health literacy information due to lack of awareness of resources, language barriers, and limited social and institutional networks. Perceptions of what constitutes health literacy are culture specific and newcomers typically undergo an acculturation process towards understanding Canadian standards of health literacy.
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Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported

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