Ana Abraido-Lanza

Ana Abraido Lanza
Ana Abraido-Lanza

Vice Dean of the School of Global Public Health

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Professional overview

Dr. Ana Abraído-Lanza's research interests include studying the cultural, psychological, social, and structural factors that affect health, psychological well-being, and mortality among Latinos; health disparities between Latinos and non-Latino whites; and the health of immigrant Latinos.  Her major publications on the Latino mortality paradox and on acculturation have contributed to national and international debates on the mental and physical health of Latinos specifically, and on general factors that influence immigrant health.

Dr. Abraído-Lanza is engaged in several important professional activities.  These include (among others) serving on the Editorial Boards of Health Education and Behavior, the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and Preventing Chronic Disease.  She has served as a committee or Board member on numerous scientific, professional and non-profit organizations and groups, including (among others) the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools, the Community Task Force on Preventive Services of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several National Institutes of Health review groups.  

Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Abraído-Lanza was Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.   She was the director of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at Columbia’s Mailman School, an education project funded by the National Institutes of Health, which aims to increase the number of under-represented researchers who enter biomedical and behavioral research careers in the field of public health.  Dr. Abraído-Lanza’s honors and awards include being selected as a Columbia University Provost Leadership Fellow.   She also received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, a Dalmas A. Taylor Distinguished Contributions Award from the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association, and the Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award from the American Public Health Association.

Education

BA, Psychology, New York University, New York, NY
MA, Psychology, City University of New York, New York, NY
PhD, Psychology, City University of New York, New York, NY
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, New York, NY

Areas of research and study

Acculturation
Behavioral Determinants of Health
Behavioral Science
Community Health
Cultural Determinants of Health
Health of Marginalized Population
Latino culture
Latino Health
Minorities
Minority Health
Population Health
Psychology
Social Behaviors
Social Determinants of Health

Publications

Publications

Feasibility and acceptability of using information visualizations to improve HIV-related communication in a limited-resource setting: a short report

Stonbraker, S., Flynn, G., George, M., Cunto-Amesty, S., Alcántara, C., Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Halpern, M., Rowell-Cunsolo, T., Bakken, S., & Schnall, R.

Publication year

2022

Journal title

AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV

Volume

34

Issue

4

Page(s)

535-541
Abstract
Abstract
Infographics (visualizations that present information) can assist clinicians to offer health information to patients with low health literacy in an accessible format. In response, we developed an infographic intervention to enhance clinical, HIV-related communication. This study reports on its feasibility and acceptability at a clinical setting in the Dominican Republic. We conducted in-depth interviews with physicians who administered the intervention and patients who received it. We conducted audio-recorded interviews in Spanish using semi-structured interview guides. Recordings were professionally transcribed verbatim then analyzed using descriptive content analysis. Physician transcripts were deductively coded according to constructs of Bowen et al.'s feasibility framework and patient transcripts were inductively coded. Three physicians and 26 patients participated. Feasibility constructs endorsed by physicians indicated that infographics were easy to use, improved teaching, and could easily be incorporated into their workflow. Coding of patient transcripts identified four categories that indicated the intervention was acceptable and useful, offered feedback regarding effective clinical communication, and recommended improvements to infographics. Taken together, these data indicate our intervention was a feasible and acceptable way to provide clinical, HIV-related information and provide important recommendations for future visualization design as well as effective clinical communication with similar patient populations.

Clinician Use of HIV-Related Infographics During Clinic Visits in the Dominican Republic is Associated with Lower Viral Load and Other Improvements in Health Outcomes

Stonbraker, S., Liu, J., Sanabria, G., George, M., Cunto-Amesty, S., Alcántara, C., Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Halpern, M., Rowell-Cunsolo, T., Bakken, S., & Schnall, R.

Publication year

2021

Journal title

AIDS and Behavior

Volume

25

Issue

12

Page(s)

4061-4073
Abstract
Abstract
We designed an infographic intervention to help clinicians provide health information to persons living with HIV. In this study, we assessed the extent to which our intervention may improve objectively and subjectively measured health outcomes (CD4 count, viral load, and engagement with clinician among others) when integrated into routine visits in the Dominican Republic. In this pretest–posttest study, we followed participants for 9 months at 3-month intervals. Physicians administered the intervention during participants’ first 3 visits. Outcome measures, selected using a conceptual model, were assessed at 4 time points. We assessed changes in outcomes over time with general linear regressions and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank tests. Participants (N = 50) were mostly female (56%) and had been living with HIV for a mean of 6.3 years (SD = 6.1). All outcomes, except CD4 count, demonstrated statistically significant improvements by study end. This provides preliminary evidence our intervention may improve outcomes, but further testing is needed.

Mammography Screening Among Latinas: Does Gender and Ethnic Patient-Physician Concordance Matter?

Mendoza-Grey, S., Ramos-Muniz, J., Armbrister, A. N., & Abraído-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Volume

23

Issue

5

Page(s)

986-992
Abstract
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Latinas. Dominican women in particular have a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer than do other Latinas in the U.S. This study examines how gender, ethnic, and language concordance between providers and patients are associated with recent mammography screening for Latina immigrant women from the Dominican Republic. We conducted structured interviews, in Spanish, with 419 Dominican women aged 40 years or older living in New York City. Using bivariate analysis and logistic regressions, we tested whether patient-provider gender, ethnic, and language concordance was associated with recent mammography when controlling for demographic covariates, breast cancer screening knowledge, and self-rated health. Gender concordance predicted recent mammography after controlling for covariates (β = 0.13). Neither ethnic nor language concordance significantly predicted recent mammography. Our findings suggest that promotion of patient-provider gender concordance may help reduce health disparities among Latinos/as and other minority groups across the United States.

Structural Racism and Immigrant Health in the United States

Misra, S., Kwon, S. C., Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Chebli, P., Trinh-Shevrin, C., & Yi, S. S.

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Health Education and Behavior

Volume

48

Issue

3

Page(s)

332-341
Abstract
Abstract
Immigration has been historically and contemporarily racialized in the United States. Although each immigrant group has unique histories, current patterns, and specific experiences, racialized immigrant groups such as Latino, Asian, and Arab immigrants all experience health inequities that are not solely due to nativity or years of residence but also influenced by conditional citizenship and subjective sense of belonging or othering. Critical race theory and intersectionality provide a critical lens to consider how structural racism might uniquely impact the health of racialized immigrants, and to understand and intervene on the interlocking systems that shape these shared experiences and health consequences. We build on and synthesize the work of prior scholars to advance how society codifies structural disadvantages for racialized immigrants into governmental and institutional policies and how that affects health via three key pathways that emerged from our review of the literature: (1) formal racialization via immigration policy and citizenship status that curtails access to material and health resources and political and civic participation; (2) informal racialization via disproportionate immigration enforcement and criminalization including ongoing threats of detention and deportation; and (3) intersections with economic exploitation and disinvestment such as labor exploitation and neighborhood disinvestment. We hope this serves as a call to action to change the dominant narratives around immigrant health, provides conceptual and methodological recommendations to advance research, and illuminates the essential role of the public health sector to advocate for changes in other sectors including immigration policy, political rights, law enforcement, labor protections, and neighborhood investment, among others.

Immigration and health

Abraído-Lanza, A. F., & Armbrister, A. N. In Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine.

Publication year

2019

Page(s)

37-40

Are you better off? Perceptions of social mobility and satisfaction with care among Latina immigrants in the U.S.

Mendoza, S., Armbrister, A. N., & Abraído-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Social Science and Medicine

Volume

219

Page(s)

54-60
Abstract
Abstract
Although the reasons for immigrating to the U.S. vary by Latino groups, many Latinos cite economic or political motivations for their migration. Once in the United States, Latino immigrants may face many challenges, including discrimination and blocked opportunities for social mobility, and difficulties in obtaining health services and quality health care. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in social mobility from the country of origin to the U.S. may relate to Latina women's health care interactions. We examined whether self-reported social mobility among 419 Latina women immigrants is associated with satisfaction with health care. We also examined the association among social mobility and self-rated health, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Upward social mobility was associated with greater number of years lived in the U.S., and downward social mobility was associated with more years of education. Those who reported no changes in social class (stable social mobility) were older and were the most satisfied with their medical care. Multiple regression analyses indicated that downward social mobility was associated with less satisfaction with care when controlling for demographic covariates, quality of care, and medical mistrust. Results suggest that perceived social mobility may differentially predict Latina immigrants’ satisfaction with the health care system, including their trust in U.S. medical institutions. We conclude that perceived social mobility is an important element in exploring the experiences of immigrant Latinas with health care in the United States.

Latino health

Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Mendoza, S., & Armbrister, A. N. In Handbook of Health Psychology.

Publication year

2018

Page(s)

342-354
Abstract
Abstract
This chapter presents an overview of key issues in Latino health. It is not intended to be an exhaustive review of the state of the literature on Latino health. Rather, significant areas are highlighted for further research on the health of Latinos in the United States. This chapter describes the Latino population, and presents a brief profile of the health of Latinos. Next, key issues on acculturation are discussed, focusing on health behavior and other norms, especially familism and fatalism. It then describe features of social environments that may shape health, specifically, the neighborhoods in which Latinos reside. The chapter then proceeds to discuss broader macro-level influences on health; specifically, policies that affect access to health care and immigration. This chapter concludes that the study of Latino health requires expansive models that consider interactions between national origin, acculturation, and broad determinants of health that include cultural, social, and political contexts.

Community engagement in academic health centers: A model for capturing and advancing our successes

Vitale, K., Newton, G. L., Abraido-Lanza, A., Aguirre, A. N., Ahmed, S., Esmond, S. L., Evans, J., Gelmon, S. B., Hart, C., Hendricks, D., McClinton-Brown, R., Young, S. N., Stewart, M. K., & Tumiel-Berhalter, L. M.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

Page(s)

81-90

Personalized medicine and Hispanic health: Improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities

Segmented assimilation: An approach to studying acculturation and obesity among Latino adults in the United States

Flórez, K. R., & Abraído-Lanza, A.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Family and Community Health

Volume

40

Issue

2

Page(s)

132-138
Abstract
Abstract
Segmented assimilation theory posits that immigrants experience distinct paths of assimilation. Using cluster analysis and data from the National Latino and Asian American Survey, this study sought to apply this theory in relation to obesity among Latinos. Four clusters emerged: a "second-generation classic," a "thirdgeneration classic," an "underclass," and a "segmented assimilation" pattern. In analyses controlling for sociodemographic confounders (eg, age), second-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 2.70, 95% confidence interval = 1.47-4.93) relative to the segmented pattern. Similarly, third-generation classic individuals had higher odds of obesity (odds ratio = 3.23, 95% confidence interval = 1.74-6.01) compared with segmented assimilation individuals.

Social Norms, Acculturation, and Physical Activity Among Latina Women

Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Shelton, R. C., Martins, M. C., & Crookes, D. M.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Volume

19

Issue

2

Page(s)

285-293
Abstract
Abstract
Physical activity promotes health and is important for preventing chronic conditions, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Little is known about factors associated with different types of PA among Latina women, particularly Dominicans, who now constitute the fifth largest group of Latinos in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine whether occupational physical activity, acculturation, familism, and norms held by family and friends are associated with three types of PA: vigorous and moderate leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), and resistance training. Interviews were conducted with 418 Dominican women. We assessed self-reported PA using standardized measures. Data were collected between July 2010 and July 2012 in New York City. Most women reported no vigorous LTPA or resistance training (74.5 and 73.1 %, respectively); about half (52.1 %) reported no moderate LTPA. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, occupational physical activities were associated with greater LTPA. Acculturation was not associated with any outcome. Positive family norms about exercise were associated with increased LTPA and resistance training. Family norms may play a critical role in PA and should be included in programs to increase PA among Latina women.

The Intersection of Fatalismo and pessimism on depressive symptoms and suicidality of Mexican descent adolescents: An attribution perspective

Piña-Watson, B., & Abraído-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

Volume

23

Issue

1

Page(s)

91-101
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to examine the role fatalismo beliefs and pessimistic attributions on depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and suicidality of Mexican descent adolescents. The major premise of this study is that it is the interaction between the level of negative attribution and fatalismo beliefs that explains the relationship with mental health outcomes, not the fatalistic belief itself. Method: A sample of 524 Mexican descent adolescents from a midsized city in south Texas was surveyed (age range = 14-20 years; M = 16.23 years; SD = 1.10 years). Results: Linear and logistic multiple regression analyses demonstrate that pessimism is independently and positively related to depressive symptoms, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. Predetermination and luck beliefs were not found to be independently related to any outcomes; however, there were significant interaction effects between pessimism and predetermination beliefs on suicidal ideation and plans. Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the need to study fatalismo multidimensionally, use culturally relevant measures, and account for attributions to understand the affect of fatalismo on mental health outcomes.

Acculturation and physical activity among Latinos

Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Flórez, K. R., & Shelton, R. C. In The Oxford Handbook of Acculturation and Health.

Publication year

2016

Page(s)

343-355
Abstract
Abstract
Despite the many health benefits of physical activity (PA), the majority of Latinos do not meet recommended levels of PA. This chapter provides an overview of research on acculturation and PA among adult Latinos in the United States. It identifies gaps in knowledge concerning the association between acculturation and different types of PA, the joint effects of socioeconomic position and acculturation on PA, and research on gender. It suggests several areas for further research related to acculturation and PA, including an exploration of norms, social networks, and broader social contexts. It concludes that although the bulk of evidence indicates that greater acculturation is associated with increased PA, more complex research designs and greater methodological and conceptual rigor are needed to move forward research in this area.

Latino Immigrants, Acculturation, and Health: Promising New Directions in Research

Abraído-Lanza, A. F., Echeverría, S. E., & Flórez, K. R.

Publication year

2016

Journal title

Annual Review of Public Health

Volume

37

Page(s)

219-236
Abstract
Abstract
This article provides an analysis of novel topics emerging in recent years in research on Latino immigrants, acculturation, and health. In the past ten years, the number of studies assessing new ways to conceptualize and understand how acculturation-related processes may influence health has grown. These new frameworks draw from integrative approaches testing new ground to acknowledge the fundamental role of context and policy. We classify the emerging body of evidence according to themes that we identify as promising directions - intrapersonal, interpersonal, social environmental, community, political, and global contexts, cross-cutting themes in life course and developmental approaches, and segmented assimilation - and discuss the challenges and opportunities each theme presents. This body of work, which considers acculturation in context, points to the emergence of a new wave of research that holds great promise in driving forward the study of Latino immigrants, acculturation, and health. We provide suggestions to further advance the ideologic and methodologic rigor of this new wave.

Revisiting unequal treatment

Armbrister, A. N., & Abraido-Lanza, A. In P. Nicassio (Ed.), Psychosocial FActors in Arthritis: Disparities in access to and quality of care for arthritis.

Publication year

2016

The joint contribution of neighborhood poverty and social integration to mortality risk in the United States

The Power of Place: Social Network Characteristics, Perceived Neighborhood Features, and Psychological Distress Among African Americans in the Historic Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Flórez, K. R., Ghosh-Dastidar, M. B., Beckman, R., De La Haye, K., Duru, O. K., Abraído-Lanza, A. F., & Dubowitz, T.

Publication year

2016

Journal title

American journal of community psychology

Page(s)

60-68
Abstract
Abstract
African American neighborhoods have been historically targeted for urban renewal projects, which impact social composition and resident's health. The Hill District in Pittsburgh, PA is such a neighborhood. This research sought to investigate the extent to which social networks and perceived neighborhood social cohesion and safety were associated with psychological distress among residents in an African American neighborhood undergoing urban renewal, before the implementation of major neighborhood changes. Findings revealed a modest, significant inverse association between social network size and psychological distress (β = −0.006, p <.01), even after controlling for age, employment, education, and income. Perceived neighborhood safety predicted decreased psychological distress (β = −1.438, p <.01), but not social cohesion, which is consistent with past research. Findings suggest that social networks protect against psychological distress, but neighborhood perceptions are also paramount.

Breast Cancer Screening Among Dominican Latinas: A Closer Look at Fatalism and Other Social and Cultural Factors

Effect of physical activity, social support, and skills training on late-life emotional health: A systematic literature review and implications for public health research

Snowden, M. B., Steinman, L. E., Carlson, W. L., Mochan, K. N., Abraido-Lanza, A. F., Bryant, L. L., Duffy, M., Knight, B. G., Jeste, D. V., Leith, K. H., Lenze, E. J., Logsdon, R. G., Satariano, W. A., Zweiback, D. J., & Anderson, L. A.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

Frontiers in Public Health

Volume

2
Abstract
Abstract
Purpose: Given that emotional health is a critical component of healthy aging, we undertook a systematic literature review to assess whether current interventions can positively affect older adults' emotional health. Methods: A national panel of health services and mental health researchers guided the review. Eligibility criteria included community-dwelling older adult (aged≥50 years) samples, reproducible interventions, and emotional health outcomes, which included multiple domains and both positive (well-being) and illness-related (anxiety) dimensions.This review focused on three types of interventions - physical activity, social support, and skills training - given their public health significance and large number of studies identified. Panel members evaluated the strength of evidence (quality and effectiveness). Results: In all, 292 articles met inclusion criteria.These included 83 exercise/physical activity, 25 social support, and 40 skills training interventions. For evidence rating, these 148 interventions were categorized into 64 pairings by intervention type and emotional health outcome, e.g., strength training targeting loneliness or social support to address mood. 83% of these pairings were rated at least fair quality. Expert panelists found sufficient evidence of effectiveness only for skills training interventions with health outcomes of decreasing anxiety and improving quality of life and self-efficacy. Due to limitations in reviewed studies, many intervention-outcome pairings yielded insufficient evidence. Conclusion: Skills training interventions improved several aspects of emotional health in community-dwelling older adults, while the effects for other outcomes and interventions lacked clear evidence. We discuss the implications and challenges in moving forward in this important area.

Effects of mental health benefits legislation: A community guide systematic review

Sipe, T. A., Finnie, R. K., Knopf, J. A., Qu, S., Reynolds, J. A., Thota, A. B., Hahn, R. A., Goetzel, R. Z., Hennessy, K. D., McKnight-Eily, L. R., Chapman, D. P., Anderson, C. W., Azrin, S., Abraido-Lanza, A. F., Gelenberg, A. J., Vernon-Smiley, M. E., & Nease, D. E.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

48

Issue

6

Page(s)

755-766
Abstract
Abstract
Context Health insurance benefits for mental health services typically have paid less than benefits for physical health services, resulting in potential underutilization or financial burden for people with mental health conditions. Mental health benefits legislation was introduced to improve financial protection (i.e., decrease financial burden) and to increase access to, and use of, mental health services. This systematic review was conducted to determine the effectiveness of mental health benefits legislation, including executive orders, in improving mental health. Evidence acquisition Methods developed for the Guide to Community Preventive Services were used to identify, evaluate, and analyze available evidence. The evidence included studies published or reported from 1965 to March 2011 with at least one of the following outcomes: access to care, financial protection, appropriate utilization, quality of care, diagnosis of mental illness, morbidity and mortality, and quality of life. Analyses were conducted in 2012. Evidence synthesis Thirty eligible studies were identified in 37 papers. Implementation of mental health benefits legislation was associated with financial protection (decreased out-of-pocket costs) and appropriate utilization of services. Among studies examining the impact of legislation strength, most found larger positive effects for comprehensive parity legislation or policies than for less-comprehensive ones. Few studies assessed other mental health outcomes. Conclusions Evidence indicates that mental health benefits legislation, particularly comprehensive parity legislation, is effective in improving financial protection and increasing appropriate utilization of mental health services for people with mental health conditions. Evidence was limited for other mental health outcomes.

How Neighborhood Poverty Structures Types and Levels of Social Integration

Marcus, A. F., Echeverria, S. E., Holland, B. K., Abraido-Lanza, A. F., & Passannante, M. R.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

American journal of community psychology

Volume

56

Issue

1

Page(s)

134-144
Abstract
Abstract
Social integration is fundamental to health and well-being. However, few studies have explored how neighborhood contexts pattern types and levels of social integration that individuals experience. We examined how neighborhood poverty structures two dimensions of social integration: integration with neighbors and social integration more generally. Using data from the United States Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we linked study participants to percent poverty in their neighborhood of residence (N = 16,040). Social integration was assessed using a modified Social Network Index and neighborhood integration based on yearly visits with neighbors. We fit multivariate logistic regression models that accounted for the complex survey design. Living in high poverty neighborhoods was associated with lower social integration but higher visits with neighbors. Neighborhood poverty distinctly patterns social integration, demonstrating that contexts shape the extent and quality of social relationships.

Latino Health: A Snapshot of Key Issues

Abraído-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

Health Education and Behavior

Volume

42

Issue

5

Page(s)

565-568

Effects of full-day kindergarten on the long-term health prospects of children in low-income and racial/ethnic-minority populations: A community guide systematic review

Hahn, R. A., Rammohan, V., Truman, B. I., Milstein, B., Johnson, R. L., Muntañer, C., Jones, C. P., Fullilove, M. T., Chattopadhyay, S. K., Hunt, P. C., & Abraido-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

46

Issue

3

Page(s)

312-323
Abstract
Abstract
Context Children from low-income and minority families are often behind higher-income and majority children in language, cognitive, and social development even before they enter school. Because educational achievement has been shown to improve long-term health, addressing these delays may foster greater health equity. This systematic review assesses the extent to which full-day kindergarten (FDK), compared with half-day kindergarten (HDK), prepares children, particularly those from low-income and minority families, to succeed in primary and secondary school and improve lifelong health. Evidence acquisition A meta-analysis (2010) on the effects of FDK versus HDK among U.S. children measured educational achievement at the end of kindergarten. The meta-analysis was concordant with Community Guide criteria. Findings on the longer-term effects of FDK suggested "fade-out" by third grade. The present review used evidence on the longer-term effects of pre-K education to explore the loss of FDK effects over time. Evidence synthesis FDK improved academic achievement by an average of 0.35 SDs (Cohen's d; 95% CI=0.23, 0.46). The effect on verbal achievement was 0.46 (Cohen's d; 95% CI=0.32, 0.61) and that on math achievement was 0.24 (Cohen's d; 95% CI=0.06, 0.43). Evidence of "fade-out" from pre-K education found that better-designed studies indicated both residual benefits over multiple years and the utility of educational boosters to maintain benefits, suggesting analogous longer-term effects of FDK. Conclusions There is strong evidence that FDK improves academic achievement, a predictor of longer-term health benefits. To sustain early benefits, intensive elementary school education is needed. If targeted to low-income and minority communities, FDK can advance health equity.

Havens of risks or resources? A study of two Latino neighborhoods in New York City

Religion, fatalism, and cancer control: A qualitative study among Hispanic Catholics

Leyva, B., Allen, J. D., Tom, L. S., Ospino, H., Torres, M. I., & Abraido-Lanza, A. F.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

American Journal of Health Behavior

Volume

38

Issue

6

Page(s)

839-849
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: To assess cancer perceptions among churchgoers and to examine the potential influence of fatalism and religious beliefs on the use of cancer screening tests. Methods: Eight semi-structured focus groups were conducted among 67 Hispanic Catholics in Massachusetts. Results: In this sample, there were few references to fatalistic beliefs about cancer and nearly universal endorsement of the utility of cancer screening for cancer early detection. Most participants reported that their religious beliefs encouraged them to use health services, including cancerscreening tests. Although participants agreed that God plays an active role in health, they also affirmed the importance of self-agency in determining cancer outcomes. Conclusions: Our findings challenge the assumption that fatalism is an overriding perspective among Hispanics. Catholic religious beliefs may contribute to positive health attitudes and behaviors.

Contact

afa2001@nyu.edu 708 Broadway 8FL New York, NY, 10003