Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Beth A. Jones


Background: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality for Hispanic/Latino (H/L) women in the United States. Although incidence rates are lower among H/L women than among white women and other minorities, H/L women are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer and to have lower 5-year relative survival compared with non-Hispanic white women. H/L women are less likely than white and African American women to receive screening mammography according to recommended guidelines. This study examines the relationship between perceived control over three health outcome domains: 1.) remaining healthy, 2.) being diagnosed with cancer, and 3.) the ability to recover from cancer if diagnosed, and self-reported history of mammography screening in a population of H/L women living in the northeast United States. Methods: As part of a large, prospective cohort study, 1,591 women answered questions about their perceived control over remaining healthy, developing cancer, and recovering from cancer if they were to be diagnosed. They also provided information on whether they had received a breast cancer screening mammogram in the previous year. In addition to analyzing descriptive information, multivariate adjusted logistic regression was conducted to analyze the association of low and moderate levels of perceived control compared with high perceived control on mammography screening non-adherence. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) are reported. Results: The adjusted odds of non-adherence to mammography guidelines were statistically significantly higher for women who had low or moderate levels of perceived control, as compared to women who had high levels of perceived control. Conclusions: Cancer prevention strategies should address culturally-specific beliefs that impact women's sense of control over their health in order to affect consistent, long-term mammography use in this population.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access