Influence of Coping With Prostate Cancer Threat on Frequency of Digital Rectal Examinations

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Objectives : To determine the role of personality variables in coping with cancer threat in the receipt of digital rectal examinations among men from 7 ethnic subpopulations composing 3 major ethnic groups.

Methods : Three hundred eight men were assessed on how often they obtained digital rectal exams and their likelihood of coping with a hypothetical cancer diagnosis.

Results : There were ethnic disparities in screening frequency that were not accounted for by demographic/background variables. Coping styles that reflect problem solving, use of social support, and avoidance provided unique and additional variance in understanding these disparities.

Conclusions : Cancer researchers and educators must account for heterogeneity within typical major ethnic groups, as well as consider the role of personality variables, as they differentially predict outcomes in ethnic subpopulations.

Keywords: acculturation; coping styles; digital rectal examinations; ethnic subpopulations; imagined prostate cancer diagnosis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Associate Professor, Psychology Department, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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