Family/friend recommendations and mammography intentions: the roles of perceived mammography norms and support.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Health education research (2015)


Identifying factors that increase mammography use among Latinas is an important public health priority. Latinas are more likely to report mammography intentions and use, if a family member or friend recommends that they get a mammogram. Little is known about the mechanisms underlying the relationship between social interactions and mammography intentions. Theory suggests that family/friend recommendations increase perceived mammography norms (others believe a woman should obtain a mammogram) and support (others will help her obtain a mammogram), which in turn increase mammography intentions and use. We tested these hypotheses with data from the ¬°Fortaleza Latina! study, a randomized controlled trial including 539 Latinas in Washington State. Women whose family/friend recommended they get a mammogram within the last year were more likely to report mammography intentions, norms and support. Perceived mammography norms mediated the relationship between family/friend recommendations and intentions, Mediated Effect = 0.38, 95%CI [0.20, 0.61], but not support, Mediated Effect = 0.002, 95%CI [-0.07, 0.07]. Our findings suggest perceived mammography norms are a potential mechanism underlying the effect of family/friend recommendations on mammography use among Latinas. Our findings make an important contribution to theory about the associations of social interactions, perceptions and health behaviors.