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Breast Cancer Anxiety and Its Links to Media Use and Perceptions of Media Information in African American & Caucasian Women
Unformatted Document Text:  Breast Cancer Anxiety and Media 8 knowledge about breast cancer was found to be poor among the women (McDonald et al., 1999). Lack of factual knowledge about the disease could contribute to individuals’ misperceptions of the risk factors for breast cancer and affect their anxiety about the disease. Squires (2002) argued that African Americans tend to supplement mainstream media with Black-owned media products as a shield against the dominant ideology around race. Although consumption without acceptance may be particularly common for African Americans (Squires, 2002), they engage in critical and analytic interpersonal encounters with other members of their racial community or the “Afrocentric talk” to create a “Black world” for deconstruction of the inscribed image and reconstruction of their own identity through which they can obtain knowledge and find meaning beyond those offered by the mainstream media (Wood, 2002). African American women, for example, tend to integrate their own life experiences and cultural values such as religion into their readings of media texts (Bobo, 1995). Religious beliefs were found to play an important role in health care practices and emotional adjustment of African American cancer patients (e.g., Barber et al., 1998; Matthews et al., 2002), and in the willingness of attending church-based health promotion programs by African Americans (Lewis & Green, 2000). They consequently became more reluctant to seek cancer information and relied more on the belief that “God is going to take care of me” (Matthews et al., 2002, p. 213). Hughes et al. (1996) attributed differences in perceptions about breast cancer risks to the influence of cultural factors such as the importance of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, and time orientation. Clarke-Tasker (1993) showed that some African Americans believed that illness might be due to their failure to live according to God’s will.

Authors: Frisby, Cynthia. and Fleming, Kenneth.
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Breast Cancer Anxiety and Media
8
knowledge about breast cancer was found to be poor among the women (McDonald et al., 1999).
Lack of factual knowledge about the disease could contribute to individuals’ misperceptions of
the risk factors for breast cancer and affect their anxiety about the disease.
Squires (2002) argued that African Americans tend to supplement mainstream media
with Black-owned media products as a shield against the dominant ideology around race.
Although consumption without acceptance may be particularly common for African Americans
(Squires, 2002), they engage in critical and analytic interpersonal encounters with other members
of their racial community or the “Afrocentric talk” to create a “Black world” for deconstruction
of the inscribed image and reconstruction of their own identity through which they can obtain
knowledge and find meaning beyond those offered by the mainstream media (Wood, 2002).
African American women, for example, tend to integrate their own life experiences and cultural
values such as religion into their readings of media texts (Bobo, 1995).
Religious beliefs were found to play an important role in health care practices and
emotional adjustment of African American cancer patients (e.g., Barber et al., 1998; Matthews et
al., 2002), and in the willingness of attending church-based health promotion programs by
African Americans (Lewis & Green, 2000). They consequently became more reluctant to seek
cancer information and relied more on the belief that “God is going to take care of me”
(Matthews et al., 2002, p. 213). Hughes et al. (1996) attributed differences in perceptions about
breast cancer risks to the influence of cultural factors such as the importance of interpersonal
relationships, spirituality, and time orientation. Clarke-Tasker (1993) showed that some African
Americans believed that illness might be due to their failure to live according to God’s will.


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