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Front Public Health. 2014 Nov 27;2:252. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00252. eCollection 2014.

Male Role Norms, Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Colorectal Cancer Screening among Young Adult African American Men.

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Program in Health Disparities Research, Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School , Minneapolis, MN , USA.
Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University , College Station, TX , USA.


Racial disparities in health among African American men (AAM) in the United States are extensive. In contrast to their White counterparts, AAM have more illnesses and die younger. AAM have colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates 25% and 50% higher, respectively, than White men. Due to CRC's younger age at presentation and high incidence among AAM, CRC screening (CRCS) is warranted at the age of 45 rather than 50, but little is known about younger AAM's views of CRCS. Employing survey design, the purpose of the study was to describe the male role norms (MRN), knowledge, attitudes, perceived subjective norms, and perceived barriers associated with screening for CRC among a non-random sample of 157 young adult AAM (ages 19-45). Sixty-seven percent of the study sample received a passing knowledge score (85% or better), yet no significant differences were found among the three educational levels (i.e., low, medium, high). More negative attitudes toward CRCS correlated with the participants' strong perceptions of barriers, but no extremely negative or positive MRN and perceived subjective norms were found. The factors significantly associated with attitudes were family history of cancer (unsure), work status, and perceived barriers. Findings from this study provide a solid basis for developing structured health education interventions that address the salient factors shaping young adult AAM's view of CRC and early detection screening behaviors.


African American; cancer prevention; colon cancer; health disparities; masculinity; men

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