Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Stacey Smallwood

Committee Member 1

Haresh Rochani

Committee Member 2

Samuel Opoku


The proliferation of biobanks has created new opportunities for researchers to conduct cutting-edge research that was not possible a decade ago. The results of early studies using biospecimens in cancer research have been encouraging. However, researchers are concerned about the applicability of the new knowledge that is being produced to racially diverse subgroups because African American (AA) participation in biobanking research is low. The current study assessed how AA college students’ attitudes and social norms influenced their intentions to participate in biobanking research. This research was guided by Ajzen and Fishbein’s Theory of Reasoned Action as the analytic lens. Methods: An exploratory sequential, mixed-method study design was employed to collect cross-sectional open-ended questionnaire and survey data over a six-month study period. A total of 27 participants participated in the initial qualitative phase (open-ended questionnaires) to develop theory-based quantitative measures. In phase II, 105 participants responded to the newly-developed quantitative measures that were analyzed to evaluate four theory-driven hypotheses. Results: In the study phase I, a total of twelve most frequently mentioned behavioral beliefs about donating biospecimens along with personal health information (PHI) to biobanks were identified. Similarly, a total of ten most frequently mentioned normative referents who could approve and/or disapprove donating biospecimens along with PHI to biobank were identified.

In the study phase II, the behavioral beliefs and normative referents identified in phase I were used to draw up a cross-sectional survey. Regression analysis revealed that attitude had a statistically significant association with intention to participate in biobanking (P-value

There was no significant association between subjective norms and behavioral intention in regression analysis. Correlations between each of the normative referents with subjective norms were not significant. Results from this research will be used to inform theory-based interventions to increase AA participation in biobanking research.

INDEX WORDS: Biobanking, Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), College students, African Americans.

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