Effects of Counseling and Ethnic Identity on Perceived Risk and Cancer Worry in African American Women

Deborah J. Bowen, Catherine L. Christensen, Diane Powers, Diane R. Graves, Cheryl A M Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Improving breast screening behaviors in African American women is an important public health goal. To increase participation in screening, it is necessary to identify factors that contribute to reduced screening, including perceived risk and cancer worry. This paper presents predictors of changes perceived in risk and worry among African American women of differing ethnic identities as they undergo breast cancer risk counseling. Participants (n = 113) were recruited from community sources to a study of counseling for breast cancer risk. They completed a baseline assessment, randomly received breast cancer risk counseling or served as a control group, and completed a follow-up assessment. Counseling produced significant differences in perceived risk and cancer worry. Predictors of risk and worry changes, as a result of counseling, included income and ethnic identity. These data can guide better services for African American women and research into the complexity of the effects of ethnic identity on health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-379
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • African American women
  • Breast screening behavior
  • Cancer worry
  • Perceived cancer risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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