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Nurs Outlook. 2008 Nov-Dec;56(6):322-9. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2008.09.001.

Conceptualizing physical activity behavior of older Korean-Americans: an integration of Korean culture and social cognitive theory.

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  • 1College of Natural Sciences, School of Nursing, Hoseo University, 165 Sechul-ri, Baebang-myun, Asan, Chungnam, Republic of Korea.


People can live longer and healthier lives by engaging in physical activity (PA). The purpose of this article is to assess the social cognitive theory (SCT) in relation to its relevance to produce cultural-specific directions for gerontological nursing practice in order to guide the design of PA interventions for Korean-American elders. SCT is compared to the Korean cultural, social, and health belief system and is analyzed and evaluated based on 3 criteria: assumptions of the theory, completeness and consistency, and essence of nursing. Within the Korean culture, as presumed in the SCT and the nursing paradigm, health-promoting behavior, such as PA, is conceptualized as the desire for a higher level of health rather than a fear of disease as is proposed by other health behavior theories. SCT with the integration of Korean culture recognizes cultural, developmental, societal, and other external constraints that may help in formulating interventions and better understanding of the limits faced by older Korean-Americans (OKAs) in their pursuit of routine PA.

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