Early Cancer Detection Behaviors among Black Males

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Darlingtina Atakere
Tamara Baker


cancer, Black males, early detection


Background and Objective: It is believed that the differentials in the chances of surviving cancer diagnoses may be due to barriers that limit access to timely, appropriate, and high-quality medical care. Understanding the motivation for early cancer detection behavior among Black males may begin to diminish the prevalence of having an imminent and aggressive cancer diagnosis among this gendered population. To add to this understanding, this study examined perceptions, beliefs, and engagement in early detection cancer behavior in a sample of Black males 23-63 years of age.

Materials and Methods: Participants (N=312) responded to survey items assessing knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions of cancer, early cancer detection behavior, illness attitude, masculinity, attachment style, and demographic characteristics via a Qualtrics link published on Amazon MTurk. Using hierarchical regression models, associations were estimated between demographic variables, social (illness attitude, identity), behavioral (masculinity, attachment) variables, and early cancer detection behavior.

Results: Data showed age (b = -.28, p<.01), education (b = -.180, p<.01), illness attitude (b = .24, p<.01), masculinity (b = -.22, p<.01), and avoidant (b = .31, p<.01) and anxious (b = -.14, p<.01) attachment being associated with early cancer detection behavior among Black males.

Conclusion: Understanding the motivation for early cancer detection behaviors may begin to address the use of mechanisms, by which to ensure a timely diagnosis, of preventable cancers, among this adult population. Our findings should be useful for researchers seeking to understand why people resist beneficial health information, and for practitioners who aim to create interventions that may reduce such resistance.

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