Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 24–34

Social and cultural factors are related to perceived colorectal cancer screening benefits and intentions in African Americans


    • Health Communication Research LaboratoryWashington University in St. Louis
  • Mira L. Katz
    • Ohio State University
  • Barbara L. Andersen
    • Ohio State University
  • Oxana Palesh
    • University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • Colmar Figueroa-Moseley
    • University of California, Davis
  • Pascal Jean-Pierre
    • University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • Nancy Bennett
    • University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

DOI: 10.1007/s10865-009-9231-6

Cite this article as:
Purnell, J.Q., Katz, M.L., Andersen, B.L. et al. J Behav Med (2010) 33: 24. doi:10.1007/s10865-009-9231-6


Models that explain preventive behaviors, such as colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, do not account for social and cultural factors relevant to African Americans. This exploratory study examined the relationship between socio-cultural factors (e.g., traditional acculturative strategy, group-based medical mistrust, physician ethnicity, and group-level perceptions of susceptibility) and perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and CRC screening intentions among African Americans (N = 198; Age: M = 59.7, SD = 9.9; 65% female; 44% household income $50,000+). Hierarchical multiple regression was used to test the following models with perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and screening intentions as the outcomes: (a) traditional acculturative strategy × medical mistrust; (b) physician’s ethnicity × medical mistrust; (c) group susceptibility × medical mistrust; and (d) group susceptibility × traditional acculturative strategy. Results revealed that perceiving high group susceptibility while being both more culturally traditional and less mistrustful was associated with more perception of screening benefits. Greater intention to be screened was associated with perceiving high group susceptibility while having a more traditional cultural orientation and low levels of mistrust in those with African American physicians. These results suggest that it may be beneficial to include these social and cultural factors in behavioral interventions to increase CRC screening among African Americans.


Colorectal cancerScreeningAfrican AmericanCulture

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009