The American Psychological Association (APA) developed a set of standards that writers in the social sciences follow to create consistency throughout publications. These rules address:

  • crediting sources
  • document formatting
  • writing style and organization

APA’s guidelines assist readers in recognizing a writer’s ideas and information, rather than having to adjust to inconsistent formatting. In this way, APA allows writers to express themselves clearly and easily to readers. The APA materials developed in the Walden Writing Center are based on The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition, often referred to on this website as “APA 7” or “the APA manual.”


In Summer 2020, Walden University switched from the sixth edition of the APA manual to the seventh edition as the official style guide for student work. Visit the Writing Center’s APA 7 Transition page for more information on timelines and updated resources. The Writing Center’s text-based instruction, templates, videos, and modules that focus on APA have been updated to APA 7 guidelines. For a summary of some changes between APA 6 and APA 7, take a look at our APA 6 & 7 Comparison Tables.

Why APA Style?

When you are writing as a student, you are entering into a new writing community; just as you would need to learn the customs and rules of any new country you visit, you need to learn the customs and rules of academic writing. These guidelines will be different than guidelines for writing in other environments (such as letters to friends, emails to coworkers, or writing for blogs). The academic community has its own rules. These standards help writers

  • improve clarity
  • avoid distracting the reader
  • indicate sources for evidence
  • provide uniform formatting

To learn more about transitioning into academic writing, view “What Is Academic Writing?” Remember that it’s your job as the author to engage your readers, and inconsistencies in formatting and citations distract the reader from the content of your writing. By using APA style, you allow your readers to focus on the ideas you are presenting, offering a familiar format to discuss your new ideas.

Getting Started With APA Style

APA style can seem overwhelming at first. To get started, take some time to look through these resources:

  • Familiarize yourself with the column on the left; peruse the different pages to see what APA has to say about citations, reference entries, capitalization, numbers, et cetera.
  • Find our APA templates, determining which is the most appropriate for your assignments (hint: the first “Course Paper” template is best for most course assignments).
  • Use this APA Checklist to review your assignments, ensuring you have remembered all of APA’s rules.
  • Review one of our APA webinars (like “How and When to Include APA Citations”), based on your interest.
  • Find the APA resources in our APA Scavenger Hunt, helping to familiarize yourself with the APA resources we have on the website.


Health Promotion in Minority Populations

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Health Promotion in Minority Populations

Healthy individuals constitute healthy family units, which translates to healthy societies, resulting in improving and maintaining the overall health of the nation. In medicine, the doctor treats the patient, while nature cures the disease. Advanced healthcare lies at the epitome of human happiness, social well-being, and prosperity of the nation. According to healthy people 2020, a comprehensive and quality healthcare system, allows the U.S. to achieve health equity for the American people. When it comes to healthcare, the United States ranks at number thirty-five, which a significant drop based on previous rankings. Consequently, the health status of minority populations indicates an increased rate of chronic diseases and premature death. For example, the African-American population is considered the least healthy ethnic group. This paper seeks to provide a compare and contrast discussion between the health status of the Black American community and the national average.

Background Description of Black American

The black people originally from Africa, made their way into the U.S. primarily as servants and slaves. Today, 12.3% of the total population in America are blacks; this is, according to Anderson (2017). The Black American community’s health status indicates increasing rates of health disparities, limiting access to improved healthcare. Alarming issues of concern have been raised regarding the prevalent cases of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, cancer, obesity, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Racism and ethnic discrimination prevent African Americans from receiving lower-quality care since many live in poverty. As more research is conducted, African Americans are still identified as the least healthy ethnic group. Compared to the whites, Black Americans have a low socioeconomic status due to racial and ethnic discrimination, which explains the poor health outcomes. The discrimination of Blacks in America has increased heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung diseases other than sickle cell illnesses. Notably, this has called for the alleviation of racial and ethnic inequalities. 

Health Disparities and Nutritional Challenge

For years now, the black community in America is faced with the disparity of racism and ethnic discrimination. Racial and ethnic health disparities are identified as the primary cause of low-quality healthcare among blacks. The principal and minor differences that exist between populations determine, to a great extent, access to health care between those groups. As Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma (2017) explain, other than racial and ethnic discrimination, the Black Americans also face disparities of gender, education, income, sexual orientation, and residence.

For instance, some conditions are more prevalent in females than males and vice versa. More black men are affected by liver disease, sickle cell illness, and CVD, while women are more affected by depression, arthritis (rheumatoid), and osteoporosis. Additionally, the community also faces dietary-related disparities. A majority of black families do not meet the USDA fruit and vegetable guidelines. Correspondingly, due to poor standards of living, many blacks cannot access foods reach in good fat, fiber, and calcium. Instead, their diet comprises of foods reach in saturated fat, increasing obesity as well.

Barriers to Health among the African-American

Often, compared to other social and economic goals, population health is less prioritized. Despite the tireless efforts and resources allocated to improving health, many countries still record lower-quality healthcare levels. Access to improved health care affects the overall quality of life, namely, physical fitness, social well-being, and psychological status (Hong, Yi, Johnson & Adamek, 2018). Barriers to health among minorities are generally categorized into financial, cognitive, and structural barriers. Some of the primary obstacles denying the Blacks access to health care services include limited or no insurance coverage, high cost of healthcare, lack of culturally competent care, increased awareness about enhanced healthcare, and dissipation of resources allocated for promoting health among minority populations. Notably, these barriers hinder individuals from accessing screening services in time, receive a late response, and eventually lack the proper treatment, resulting in increased health disparities and poor health results.

Health Promotion Activities

Health promotion activities are meant to give people control over their health and other determinates; consequently, bettering health in all levels of life. Ideally, Edelman, Mandle & Kudzm (2017) believe that health promotion programs extend beyond enhancing personal health to safeguarding the well-being and prosperity of a nation. African Americans, like other ethnic groups, engage in health promotion activities. The approaches used to promote health among ethnic minorities include environmental change, medical activities, educational activities, behavior modification activities, and community sponsorship. Environmental and community advocacy activities refer to changing the physical and social environment within the community to promote good health. The involvement of people is done at the community level rather than changing individual behavior. Behavior modification activities center on the intrapersonal level to allow record-keeping for behavior awareness.

Best Approach as a Care Plan

Care planning is critical not only to patients but also to the practitioner as well. A care plan allows patients and healthcare professionals to interact about the conditions and type of care needed to achieve individual and overall population health. Undoubtedly, based on findings by Haber (2019), the best level of approach in a care plan for Black Americans is the primary level. At the primary level, prevention programs are made available in the form of vaccines, which are well established in all states of America. The administration of vaccines at such an early age makes healthcare services affordable and accessible, especially for the minority population. Both secondary and tertiary approaches are deemed expensive since many are not covered with health insurance, while some states lack the necessary resources to provide tertiary prevention. The primary method targets all people, even the healthy to promote factors protective of health, while minimizing health disparities and barriers.

Cultural Beliefs and Theory for Creating a Care Plan

Cultural practices considered during the creation of a care plan, allows the practitioner to adapt the treatment care given, to meet the needs and preferences of the patient. Aligning patients’ cultural beliefs and practices with competent supervision, individualizes treatment, and achieves profound outcomes. Some of the cultural practices such as distrust of healthcare providers, language barriers, religious differences, fear of the unknown, and the belief in alternative treatment methods can be considered when creating a care plan among the blacks (Hong, Yi, Johnson & Adamek, 2018). The best model that can be employed to support culturally competent health promotion activities is the Hofstede Model. The model has high power distance and operates following the pyramid structure to integrate the shared understanding of beliefs and values; hence, improving population health.


The health status of the minority population in America indicates that most of these populations cannot access better healthcare services. As discussed, the Black American community, the largest non-native American group, is the least healthy. Comparing the national average with the health conditions of African Americans, the line falls below average, depicting their health status in a far worse position. Racial and ethnic discrimination significantly affects the access to improved health for this community. Also, disparities such as education, gender, among others, contribute to poor health outcomes. Not to mention barriers high cost of healthcare, among others, hinder health promotion activities intended to safeguard social and national well-being. The best care plan can be created based on the primary prevention approach to ensure population health.


Anderson, G. (2017). Investigation of the Multidimensional Well-Being Assessment (MWA) in a sample of African Americans.

Edelman, C. L., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2017). Health promotion throughout the life span-e-book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Haber, D. (2019). Health promotion and aging: Practical applications for health professionals. Springer Publishing Company.

Hong, M., Yi, E. H., Johnson, K. J., & Adamek, M. E. (2018). Facilitators and barriers for advance care planning among ethnic and racial minorities in the US: A systematic review of the current literature. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health20(5), 1277-1287.