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Biomedical Literacy in the United States: Exploring the borderland between science and citizenship
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Indicators study ranked high on the resulting trichotomous measure, while a third were ranked in a middle group. Forty-three percent of respondents were classified in the low political interest group. This pattern is generally consistent with the literature on political participation in the United States (Verba and Nie, 1972; Nie, Junn, and Stehlik-Barry, 1996; Verba, Schlozman, and Brady, 1995). Analysis The purpose of this first model is to examine and describe the relationships between the background and other independent variables with two primary outcome variables – biomedical literacy and attentiveness to biomedical policy. Attentiveness to biomedical research was predicted by general political interest (total effect = .59), age (.31), and educational attainment (.24). Holding all of the other variables in the model constant, women were more likely to be attentive to biomedical and health policy issues than men, and this gender difference accounted for an additional effect of .12. Together, these four variables accounted for 48 percent of the variance in attentiveness to biomedical and health policy (see Table 2). This result suggests that a policy-level interest in biomedical research is indeed associated with a more general interest in public policy and politics. Biomedical literacy was predicted primarily by college-level science courses (.73), subject- relevant media use (.48), and age (-.29). Individuals with a high level of general interest in political affairs were slightly less likely to be biomedically literate (-.13). Fully 64 percent of the variance in biomedical literacy was accounted for by the limited set of variables in this model. The strong relationship between college-level science courses and biomedical literacy is supportive of the argument that general education courses have made American adults competitive in the world in regard to scientific and biomedical literacy (Miller, Pardo, and Niwa, 1997; Miller and Pardo, 2000). It is important to note the differential role of age. The total effect of age on attentiveness to biomedical research is .31, indicating that older adults are significantly more likely to follow this issue

Authors: Miller, Jon. and Kimmel, Linda.
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9
Indicators study ranked high on the resulting trichotomous measure, while a third were ranked in a
middle group. Forty-three percent of respondents were classified in the low political interest group. This
pattern is generally consistent with the literature on political participation in the United States (Verba and
Nie, 1972; Nie, Junn, and Stehlik-Barry, 1996; Verba, Schlozman, and Brady, 1995).
Analysis
The purpose of this first model is to examine and describe the relationships between the
background and other independent variables with two primary outcome variables – biomedical literacy
and attentiveness to biomedical policy.
Attentiveness to biomedical research was predicted by general political interest (total effect =
.59), age (.31), and educational attainment (.24). Holding all of the other variables in the model constant,
women were more likely to be attentive to biomedical and health policy issues than men, and this gender
difference accounted for an additional effect of .12. Together, these four variables accounted for 48
percent of the variance in attentiveness to biomedical and health policy (see Table 2). This result suggests
that a policy-level interest in biomedical research is indeed associated with a more general interest in
public policy and politics.
Biomedical literacy was predicted primarily by college-level science courses (.73), subject-
relevant media use (.48), and age (-.29). Individuals with a high level of general interest in political affairs
were slightly less likely to be biomedically literate (-.13). Fully 64 percent of the variance in biomedical
literacy was accounted for by the limited set of variables in this model. The strong relationship between
college-level science courses and biomedical literacy is supportive of the argument that general education
courses have made American adults competitive in the world in regard to scientific and biomedical
literacy (Miller, Pardo, and Niwa, 1997; Miller and Pardo, 2000).
It is important to note the differential role of age. The total effect of age on attentiveness to
biomedical research is .31, indicating that older adults are significantly more likely to follow this issue


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