Examining patterns of association with defensive information processing about colorectal cancer screening

Abstract

To reduce negative psychological affect from information or behavior that is inconsistent with one’s positive self-concept,
individuals use a variety of defensive strategies. It is unknown whether correlates differ across defenses. We examined correlates
of four levels of defensive information processing about colorectal cancer screening. Cross-sectional surveys were completed
by a convenience sample of 287 adults aged 50–75 years. Defenses measures were more consistently associated with individual
differences (especially avoidant coping styles); however, situational variables involving health-care providers also were
important. Future research should examine changes in defenses after risk communication and their relative impact on colorectal
cancer screening.

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