Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Paul B. Jacobsen, Ph.D.

Keywords

Cancer, Self-screening, Body satisfaction, Health behaviors, Detection

Abstract

Breast self-examinations (BSE) and skin self-examinations (SSE) provide people with a cost-effective and time-efficient approach to the detection of cancer. Given the utility of these self-examination behaviors, it is important to determine who is likely to perform them regularly and why. Prior research has demonstrated a relationship of attitudes and self-efficacy with performance of and intention to practice the exams. Body image, although not previously studied, can be hypothesized to influence performance of these behaviors as well. To address these issues, the current study sought to determine if there are relationships between attitudes, self-efficacy, and body image and the practice of BSE and SSE. One hundred and six women completed measures assessing attitudes, self-efficacy, body image, past performance of BSE and SSE, and future intention to perform BSE and SSE. Results indicated that attitude was positively related to past performance of BSE and SSE and future intention to perform SSE. Self-efficacy was positively related to past performance and future intention to perform BSE and SSE. Body image was positively related only to past performance of SSE. Future research should further examine the relationship between body image and SSE utilizing longitudinal designs and a more diverse population.

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