Self-Construal as a Predictor of Korean American Women’s Intention to Vaccinate Daughters Against Human Papillomavirus

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Abstract

Korean Americans represent one of the fastest growing Asian subpopulations in the United States. Despite a dramatic reduction in incidence nationwide, cervical cancer remains a major threat for Korean American women. By preventing the strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) known to cause cervical cancer, the HPV vaccines appear to be a promising solution to reduce the persistent disparities in cervical cancer among not only Korean Americans, but also other racial and ethnic minorities more generally. However, current literature lacks a better understanding of how cultural and behavioral factors influence Korean American women’s intention to vaccinate their adolescent daughters against HPV. This article presents the results of testing the mechanisms through which interdependent self-construal (an orientation of self in which individuals define themselves primarily through their relationships with others), attitudes, and subjective norms affect Korean American mothers’ intention to vaccinate their daughters. Our findings suggest that self-construal holds promise for health communication research to not only uncover the rich variance of health-related beliefs among individuals of shared cultural descent, but also to understand the context in which these beliefs are embedded.

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