Predicting intentions to engage in cancer prevention and detection behaviors: examining differences between Black and White adults

Psychol Health Med. 2009 Mar;14(2):180-9. doi: 10.1080/13548500802183575.


Reducing cancer-related mortality rates can be achieved by increasing cancer screening rates and by increasing the number of people who engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors. This study uses the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction (IM; Fishbein, 2000) to examine differences between Blacks and Whites in the US in the degree to which attitudes, perceived behavioral control (PBC) and normative pressure contribute to predicting intentions to engage in three cancer screening behaviors (mammogram, colonoscopy and PSA test) and three healthy lifestyle behaviors (controlling ones diet to lose weight, eating fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly). Prior research has demonstrated that these behaviors are effective at reducing incidence and mortality rates for some cancers. Results indicated that for Blacks intentions to engage in all behaviors were driven by PBC. Patterns were more varied for Whites and indicated that normative pressure was a particularly important determinant of screening intentions whereas attitudes were most strongly associated with dieting intentions. Results suggest that interventions targeting these behaviors should be tailored by behavior and by ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology