The role of behavioral, normative and control beliefs in breast self-examination

Mason, Tania E. & White, Katherine M. (2008) The role of behavioral, normative and control beliefs in breast self-examination. Women & Health, 47(3), pp. 39-56.


Context: A limited number of studies have been conducted examining the role of beliefs in the prediction of breast self-examination (BSE) behavior in Australian women, particularly women under 50 years of age for which it is the primary method of early detection of breast cancer. Objective: The present research investigated the differences in behavioral, normative and control beliefs between BSE performers and non-performers, within a theory of planned behavior framework, to assist in the development of specific education programs aimed at increasing BSE amongst this demographic group. Method: Two hundred and fifty-three women enrolled in an undergraduate psychology course completed a questionnaire assessing beliefs regarding BSE. One month later, these women reported their BSE behavior during the previous month. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify belief-based differences between BSE performers and non-performers. Results: Underlying behavioral and control, but not normative, beliefs about BSE distinguished between BSE performers and non-performers. Performers were more likely than non-performers to believe that engaging in BSE would be associated with identifying a lump or breast change sooner and detecting a breast cancer earlier in its course. Non-performers were more likely to perceive factors such as forgetting to perform the behavior, lack of time, lack of knowledge about how to perform the behavior, laziness, and a lack of confidence in their ability to identify lumps and breast changes as factors preventing their control over the performance of BSE. Conclusions: The belief-based differences between BSE performers and non-performers found in this study can be used to inform health promotion strategies aimed at increasing BSE behavior in women less than 50 years of age.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
6 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

411 since deposited on 11 Jul 2008
30 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 14042
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: breast self, examination, beliefs, younger women
ISSN: 1541-0331
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Haworth Press
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:46

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page