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Integrative Medicine Insights

The Role of Spiritual Health Locus of Control in Breast Cancer Information Processing between African American and Caucasian Women

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Integrative Medicine Insights 2006:1 35-44

Published on 18 Dec 2006


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Abstract

Spirituality seems to be an important cultural factor for African American women when thinking about their health. It is, however, not clear how spiritual health locus of control (SLOC) impacts health-related outcomes in the context of health message processing models, such as the Extended Parallel Process and the Risk Perception Attitude framework. Using a survey of African American and Caucasian women in the context of breast cancer, the role of SLOC and its interactions with perceived efficacy and risk was examined on four health outcomes—message acceptance, talking about breast cancer, information seeking, and behavioral intentions. For African American women, SLOC had a positive impact for talking about breast cancer through an interaction with risk and efficacy such that women high in both SLOC and perceived efficacy, but low in perceived risk were more likely to talk about breast cancer than when efficacy was low. However, high SLOC exacerbated the negative effects of efficacy on talking about breast cancer regardless of the risk level for Caucasian women. SLOC also had a positive influence on attending to breast cancer information in the media for African American women. SLOC played no role in attending to breast cancer information for Caucasian women. Interestingly, SLOC played no role for African American women on behavioral intentions, however, it worked to decrease behavioral intentions for Caucasian women when risk was high.



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