Term of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Community Health Behavior and Education (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.


Department of Health Policy and Community Health

Committee Chair

Bettye Apenteng

Committee Member 1

Samuel Opoku

Committee Member 2

Joseph Telfair


Background: Breast health disparities and underutilization of screening methods are major concerns in the United States (US), particularly affecting Black women who experience lower survival rates and advanced diagnoses. Despite the rapid growth of the African-born immigrant population, breast health among this group in the US is notably under-examined. This study aims to investigate the breast health knowledge and practices of first-generation African-born immigrants and second-generation immigrant women of African descent, aiming to understand the distinctive attributes of this group and the impact of acculturation on this public health issue.

Methods: Interviews were conducted among First Generation African immigrants and second-generation immigrants, living in Prince George's County, Maryland. A qualitative research method was employed, organizing participants’ responses into codes and thematic categories.

Results: Acculturation was seen to have influenced women’s knowledge and practices. Several factors were identified as contributors to screening behavior, emphasizing perceived benefits and cues to action. Motivators included risk aversion due to a family history of BC, family responsibilities, and insurance incentives. Negative contextual factors such as time constraints, competing priorities, pain, and discomfort were reported as barriers to screening behavior. Healthcare system barriers, such as age restrictions for screening, primary care physician preferences, and healthcare provider attitudes, were also shared. Differences and similarities between African-born immigrants were also identified.

Conclusion: These findings could inform the implementation of tailored initiatives to promote breast health among immigrant women in other counties within the US with substantial first and second-generation immigrant women populations.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Saturday, November 30, 2024