Motivators for Colon Cancer Prevention Among Elderly Mexican Americans
AuthorGonzález, Judith T.
AffiliationCalifornia State University, Fresno
KeywordsOlder Mexican Americans -- Health and hygiene
Colon (Anatomy) -- Cancer -- Prevention
Cancer -- Age factors
MetadataShow full item record
RightsThe MASRC Working Paper Series © The Arizona Board of Regents
Collection InformationThe goal of the Mexican American Studies & Research Center's Working Paper Series is to disseminate recent research on the Mexican American experience. The Center welcomes papers from the social sciences, public policy fields, and the humanities. Areas of particular interest include economic and political participation of Mexican Americans, health, immigration, and education. The Mexican American Studies & Research Center assumes no responsibility for statements or opinions of contributors to its Working Paper Series.
AbstractThis final report documents the theoretical development and preliminary empirical testing of a model that predicts the conditions under which Hispanics will seek preventive health care. Research shows that Hispanics delay preventive care, resulting in higher morbidity and mortality rates for serious diseases such as cancer. Since many serious diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer can be prevented or treated more effectively if detected early, it is crucial to understand the motivating forces behind Hispanics’ preventive health behavior. The Hispanic model, which is an extension of the Health Behavior in Cancer Prevention Model developed by Atwood, et al. (1986), includes as core variables environmental barriers to access and English-language proficiency, as well as social support, health beliefs, self-efficacy (or perceived skill), health locus of control, and health values. This correlational descriptive study employed snowballing sampling methods and consisted of 199 Hispanics between 49 and 94 years of age. Measures consist of multi-item scales whose content follows that of the Parent Project. The final instruments showed reliability (Alphas between .69 and .95), although the model testing was limited by the exclusion of some constructs that did not demonstrate reliability. The outcome of predisposition to self-care was predicted by utilization barriers to care, Chance Health Locus of Control, and General Health threat, resulting in an R-square of .07. The findings dealing with dietary preferences and preferred dietary modifications also have great implications for interventions aimed at preventing colon cancer among Hispanics. The practical health policy applications of the model are also discussed.