Publication Abstract

Authors: Duelberg SI

Title: Preventive health behavior among black and white women in urban and rural areas.

Journal: Soc Sci Med 34(2):191-8

Date: 1992 Jan

Abstract: The relationship of race to preventive health behavior among women is examined using data from the 1985 National Health Interview Survey. We find that black women are less likely to engage in primary prevention behaviors such as exercising, non-smoking and maintaining a favorable weight. However, black women are more likely to engage in secondary prevention behaviors such as receiving a Pap test or a breast exam. These findings are surprising as they indicate a change in secondary prevention behavior among black women. The racial differences in exercising, maintaining a favorable weight and receiving a Pap test or a breast exam cannot fully be explained by the differing levels of socio-economic status, measured by education and income. However, the higher percentage of smoking among black women is due to their lower levels of education. Urban/rural residence modifies the effect of race on smoking and receiving a Pap test. Black women in urban areas are most likely to be smokers. Almost no difference exists between white women in urban and rural areas concerning their likelihood of receiving a Pap test, we find that black women in urban areas are much more likely to be screened for cervical cancer than black women in rural areas.