The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of adolescents in Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education Program (MIKE/MIKE Program), a health education and disease prevention intervention. Previous quantitative research regarding MIKE indicated that youths of color had not been benefiting from the program at the same rates as their dominant culture (i.e., White/Caucasian, high socioeconomic status) counterparts. Therefore, particular attention was paid to understanding the experiences of ethnic minority youths in MIKE, using the richness of a phenomenological, qualitative methodology. A total of 13 youths volunteered to participate and self-selected into focus groups by ethnic/racial identity (i.e., Latino/Latina, African American/Black, European American/White, Multiracial/Mixed Race). The data from the semi-structured interviews were analyzed according to phenomenological thematic analysis. Results suggested that all youths, regardless of cultural background, desired personal connection in MIKE Program and valued convenience and having realistic expectations for themselves and their families when evaluating how they might incorporate health behaviors into their lives. Youths of color experienced complexity in navigating the intersection between cultural values and identity and the health standards promoted in MIKE. Implications of these findings are relevant in identifying avenues for cultural adaption of MIKE Program to address the societal determinants of health and improve health outcomes for all youths.
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