“Interpretations of Health Messages among North Philadelphia Latinos,” a study of how Philadelphia Puerto Ricans interpret media messages about smoking, was recently concluded. This project was also called “Speaking of Health/Hablando de Salud.” It was funded through a Pennsylvania Department of Health grant to Temple from the money that the tobacco industry is paying states to settle health-related lawsuits. The study was directed by BTMM (now MSP) faculty member Nancy Morris, as Principal Investigator, with BTMM professor Renee Hobbs as Co-Principal Investigator. Over the course of the four-year project, SCT graduate students Dawn Gilpin, Melissa Lenos, Suman Mishra, Pamela Poe, Tom Polcari, and Silvia Valkova also participated in this research.
Interpretations of Health Messages
among North Philadelphia Latinos
This research project examined North Philadelphia Latino residents’ perceptions of media messages about smoking and tobacco.
We examined interpretations by family members aged 9 and up of various media messages about smoking: two magazine ads for cigarettes, a smoking scene from a Hollywood movie, and a television Public Service Announcement discouraging cigarette sales to minors.
This study focused on Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community. The Puerto Rican population on the U.S. Mainland presents particular issues concerning smoking. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (2004), the percentage of Puerto Ricans who smoke is greater than that of any other Latino group.
This project is funded, in part, under a grant with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations or conclusions.
Method: In-home Interviews
Availability sample of 36 Latino families (141 individuals) recruited from the area of Philadelphia with the greatest concentration of Latinos. See map below.
Key Preliminary Findings
Dissemination of Findings
Click on the links below for explanations of the findings.
Community Advisory Board
The purpose of this group was to help us ensure that the process and results of the study were responsive to community needs and served to benefit the community. The Community Advisory Board was consulted by project researchers throughout the study.
Members of the Community Advisory Board
Louis M. Bonilla, M.A., M.P.A.
Regional Superintendent, Central East Region, School District of Philadelphia
Program Director, Concilio (Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations)