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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.
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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: 2008-03-01

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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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