Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social support, God Locus of Health Control, and quality of life among African American breast cancer survivors
by Huff, Nicole S., D.H.A., Central Michigan University, 2013, 211; 3592857
Abstract (Summary)

As African American (AA) breast cancer survivors live longer with the disease, much attention should be directed to quality of life and factors influencing it. An understanding of survivors’ belief that God controls their health and their social support needs is necessary as an effort to develop health care services and programs that are culturally sensitive. This study was the first to explore the association between an individual’s belief that God controls their health, social support and quality of life among AA breast cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between social support, God Locus of Health Control (GLHC) and quality of life (QoL) among the survivors residing in Illinois. This study’s alternative hypotheses predicted after controlling for age, location of residence, marital status, and time since diagnosis, social support and GLHC, combined and individually, would positively correlate to QoL for AA breast cancer survivors.

The study used a descriptive, correlational and quantitative design by testing the variables using hierarchical multiple regression and Pearson correlation. A convenience sample of 92 AA women was recruited from a community hospital, a Federally Qualified Health Centers, a beauty shop, two support groups, a member association that advocates for health care disparity, and local newspapers. Quantitative measures included Social Support Questionnaire (Northouse, 1988), GLHC scale (Wallston et al., 1999), Quality of Life Index – Cancer Version III (QLI – CV III) (Ferrans, 1990), and Demographic Characteristics form created by researcher.

Results concluded QoL was not affected by social support and GLHC, combined, and GLHC, individually. However, social support was a predictor of QoL. Statistically significant relationships were found between social support, QoL and its domains: a) health and functioning subscale, b) social and economic subscale, c) psychological/spiritual subscale and d) family subscale. Statistically significant relationships were not found between GLHC and QoL and its domains. The mean score for social support and GLHC scales were low compared to prior study results. The QLI – CV III mean score was moderately high compared to other study results.

Additional findings concluded women residing in the suburb had statistically significant higher mean QoL than those living in the rural or urban area of Illinois. Also, married women in this sample had a higher mean QoL than unmarried women. Although AA breast cancer survivors’ QoL was not increased by their belief that God controlled their health and the mean social support score was low, the study results provided valuable information for future research and the development of social support programs that are culturally sensitive.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Berkshire, Steven D.
Commitee: DeLellis, Nailya, Ludwig-Beymer, Patti
School: Central Michigan University
Department: Health Administration/School of Health Sciences
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-B 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Mental health, Clinical psychology
Keywords: African-American, Breast cancer, God locus of control, Health locus of control, Quality of life, Social support
Publication Number: 3592857
ISBN: 978-1-303-34461-9
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