Date of Conferral







Leann Stadtlander


There has been a significant increase in the number of Caribbean immigrants to the United States with the population being over 4 million in 2014 and over 1 million of the immigrants residing in New York State. Among this population, there has been an increase in chronic diseases that has been linked to unhealthy eating behavior. Caribbean immigrants’ approach to their health behavior was examined in this qualitative, phenomenological study. With a focus on the different aspects of the acculturation theory as the theoretical foundation, 9 participants from across the United States were interviewed about their approach to health, cultural influences on health care and behavior, and their health care challenges. Their responses were coded and analyzed for emergent themes. The results of this study showed that Caribbean Americans used natural remedies to cure their illnesses and if the illness was serious, they would go to the doctor. They said that they did not have any major health or health care challenges. When Caribbean Americans followed the social and cultural norms of the United States and their life stresses increased, their health was negatively affected, and they had an increase in diseases. They said that an improved health care system meant having culturally competent health professionals, more health education provided to immigrants, and more information from and about Caribbean American health professionals. The results of this study may encourage health professionals to seek ways to improve and promote health care tailored for Caribbean Americans in which Caribbean immigrants may be encouraged to participate.