“Culture refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.”1
People typically think of culture in terms of race or ethnicity, but culture also refers to other social groups defined by characteristics such as age, gender, religion, income level, education, geographical location, sexual orientation, disability, or profession.
Culture includes the following elements:2
Some elements of culture are easy to see, but most elements of culture are hidden. For example, in some cultures it is frowned upon for people to get help from professionals for emotional problems. This norm may prevent people from seeking the help they need. So when doing prevention for a particular population group, it is important to be aware of cultural norms and practices that may compromise the effectiveness of an intervention.