Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 320-329

First online:

Using the Interdependence Model to Understand Spousal Influence on Colorectal Cancer Screening Intentions: A Structural Equation Model

  • Sharon ManneAffiliated withUMDNJ/Cancer Institute of New Jersey Email author 
  • , Deborah KashyAffiliated withMichigan State University
  • , David S. WeinbergAffiliated withFox Chase Cancer Center
  • , Joseph A. BoscarinoAffiliated withGeisinger Health Systems
  • , Deborah J. BowenAffiliated withBoston University

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Although it is widely thought that the marital relationship plays a role in individuals’ decisions to have colorectal cancer screening, few studies have evaluated partner influences.


We evaluated the role of marital relationship factors such as a relational perspective on the frequency of spouse discussions about screening and screening intentions. Individual-level factors were also evaluated.


One hundred sixty-eight couples with both members non-adherent with screening completed measures of perceived risk, screening benefits and barriers, marital quality, relational perspective, discussion frequency, and screening intentions.


Couples’ attitudes about screening were interdependent and one partner’s attitudes and behavior were associated with the other partner’s intention. There was also evidence of joint effects in that intentions were associated with both one’s partner’s attitudes and one’s own attitudes.


Colorectal screening intentions are associated with both partners’ attitudes as well as whether or not couples have discussed screening with one another.


Interdependence model Couples Colorectal cancer screening intentions Actor-partner independence model