The role of social and cultural factors on preventive health services use among young, rural, African American men: a narrative inquiry

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University of Alabama Libraries

African American men suffer disproportionately from preventable illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Yet, African American men are least likely to use preventive health services that could potentially decrease their risk of developing these diseases in older age. The purpose of this study was to explore social and cultural factors that influence the use of preventive health services in a community-based sample of rural African-American men ages 18-34 in the Mississippi Delta county of Quitman. The Andersen Behavioral Model of Health Services Use and Critical Race Theory were the guiding frameworks for this study. Narrative inquiry was the method used for this study. Data for this study were collected from 10 African American men between the ages of 18-34. Participants of this study were residents of Quitman County, Mississippi, a rural area in the Mississippi Delta. The findings from this study were organized into three manuscripts that detail important concepts from the overall dissertation study. Several methods were used to analyze the data including: narrative analysis, thematic narrative analysis, and poetic transcription. Findings from this study indicated predisposing factors such as age and attitudinal beliefs, resources within the community and illness level affected the decision of African American men within this age group, to engage in preventive care. In addition to these findings, data also revealed the influence of experiences of fear and the struggle to create healthy identities. Lastly, data from this study suggest fathers as important role models for young men. Implications and recommendations are provided throughout each article.

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Health education, Public health, Public health education