Date of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Health and Kinesiology

First Advisor

David R. Black

Committee Member 1

Cleveland Shields

Committee Member 2

Gerald Hyner


This paper examines the social milieu of African American barbershops by exploring health discussions and information transfer between barbers and barbershop clients. This paper examines associations between peer helper and health promotion intervention variables, and peer helper intervention effectiveness in increasing knowledge and health discussion frequency. Study findings suggest barbers with higher education are significantly more effective as peer helpers in discussing health topics more frequently (OR 4.64; CI 1.00 - 21.49) and in increasing client knowledge (β 0.94; CI 0.26 - 1.63). Additionally, barbershop health educational materials were significantly associated with increased barber health discussion (OR 4.13; CI 1.32 - 12.91) suggesting educational materials may serve as "cues" to initiate health discussions with barbers. Barbershop peer helping interventions may benefit from recruiting barbers having attended at least some college and from keeping educational materials stocked and conspicuously located to assist in health discussion initiation.