Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Wang, Yu-Wei

Abstract

Cervical cancer has been reported as the second most common malignancy among Asian Indian women (Sankaranarayanan, Budukh, & Rajkumar, 2001). Researchers suggested the use of a comprehensive health model in examining such issues for this population (Gupta, Kumar, & Stewart, 2003; Tang, Solomon, Yeh, & Worden, 1999). Utilizing a biopsychosocial model (Engel, 1977; Hoffman & Driscoll, 2000), the purpose of this study was to examine the biomedical (i.e., family history of cervical cancer), biosocial (i.e., acculturation), and psychosocial (i.e., personality) factors that may be associated with the level of knowledge and appropriate utilization of cervical cancer screening tests (i.e., Papanicolaou smears) among Asian Indian women in the United States. Totally, 123 1.5 and 2nd generation Asian Indian women were recruited to participate in this study. Participants' levels of knowledge and utilization of cervical cancer screenings were high and moderate, respectively. Regression analyses indicated that identification with one's heritage culture significantly predicted correct utilization of cervical cancer screenings. However, none of the three biopsychosocial factors was significantly associated with knowledge of cervical cancer. Findings support the need to further clarify and adequately identify factors of influence within the knowledge and utilization of cervical cancer screenings for this population. More specifically, it seems necessary to examine the influence of culture on Asian Indian women's health beliefs and their perceived risk of obtaining cervical cancer both in practice and research.

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