Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Anita J. Hunter, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN; Jane M. Georges, PhD, MSN, RN; Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN


adult daughters, African-Americans, Breast Cancer, early screening, Intergenerational communication, motherhood, nursing


Health communication at numerous levels is vital to sustainability of healthy individuals. The notion of African-American mothers and adult daughters sharing breast health and breast cancer knowledge openly and honestly could be the initial step in addressing the high morbidity and mortality that continues to affect this population. Communication is a variable that has yet to be studied between African-American mothers diagnosed with breast cancer and their adult daughters. This study first examined whether this relationship existed, and secondly if it was strong enough in supporting and encouraging one another towards consistent breast health and breast cancer screening activities. The research also looked at whether knowledge, risk perception, self-efficacy, and communication were moderated by age, income, education, and employment status. In addition, the investigator assessed connectedness, interdependence, and trust in hierarchy subscales as utilized in the Mother and Adult-Daughter Questionnaire. Health care providers have yet been able to affect change in the overwhelming mortality rate in African-American women with breast cancer disease. The purpose of this descriptive, quantitative, feasibility study was to evaluate the affects of knowledge, risk perception, communication, self-efficacy, connectedness, interdependence, trust in hierarchy, and to identify independent variables most likely to encourage behavior change in adult daughters. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the Theory of Reasoned Action. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, contingency tables using chi square, and correlations were used to analyze data from a sample of 16 African-American mothers with breast cancer and their adult daughters without a diagnosis of breast cancer. This study found a positive correlation between mother- and adult daughter relationships and encouragement by mothers for their adult daughters to participate in breast health activities with this particular sample. As a feasibility study, the sample size prevented results with statistical power. Further studies are needed to fully appreciate the extent of this phenomenon.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons