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Published Examples

This section refers to articles that may be helpful. Some articles are classic publications describing the constructs in their theoretical contexts. Others are examples of research that has used the constructs to study health-related behaviors such as mammography, smoking, and nutrition.


Champion, V. L. & Skinner, C. S. (2003). Differences in perceptions of risk, benefits, and barriers by stage of mammography adoption. Journal of Women’s Health, 12, 277-286.

Eiser, J. R. & Cole, N. (2002). Participation in cervical screening as a function of perceived risk, barriers, and need for cognitive closure. Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 99-105.

Finney Rutten, L. J., Nelson, D. E. & Meissner, H. I. (2004). Examination of population-wide trends in barriers to cancer screening from a diffusion of innovation perspective (1987-2000). Preventive Medicine, 38, 258-268.

Glasgow, R.E., Whitlock, E.P., Valanis, B.G., & Vogy, T.M. (2000). Barriers to mammography and pap smear screening among women who recently had neither, one or both types of screening. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 223-228.

Glasgow, R. E., Toobert, D. J. & Gillette, C. D. (2001). Psychosocial barriers to diabetes self-management and quality of life. exit disclaimer Diabetes Spectrum, 14, 33-41.

Menon, U., Champion, V., Monahan, P. O., Daggy, J., Hui, S. & Skinner, C. S. (2007). Health belief model variables as predictors of progression in stage of mammography adoption. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21, 255-61.

Nash, D., Chan, C., Horowitz, D. & Vlahov, D. (2007). Barriers and missed opportunities in breast and cervical cancer screening among women aged 50 and over, New York City, 2002. Journal of Women’s Health, 16, 46-56.

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Dispositional Optimism

Carver, C. S., Pozo, C., Harris, S. D., Noriega, V., Scheier, M. F., Robinson, D. S., Ketcham, A. S., Moffat, F. L., Jr., & Clark, K. C. (1993). How coping mediates the effect of optimism on distress: A study of women with early stage breast cancer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 375-390.

David, D., Montgomery, G. H., & Bovbjerg, D. H. (2006). Relations between coping responses and optimism-pessimism in predicting anticipatory psychological distress in surgical breast cancer patients. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 203-213.

Kubzansky, L. D., Sparrow, D., Vokonas, P. Kawachi, I. (2001). Is the glass half empty or half full? A prospective study of optimism and coronary heart disease in the normative aging study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 910-916.

Scheier, M.F., Matthews, K.A., Owens, J.F., Magovern, G.J., Lefebvre, R.C., Abbott, R.A., & Carver, C.S. (1989). Dispositional optimism and recovery from coronary artery bypass surgery: The beneficial effects on physical and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1024-1040.

Stanton, A. L., Danoff-Burg, S., & Huggins, M. E., (2002). The first year after breast cancer diagnosis: Hope and coping strategies as predictors of adjustment. Psycho-Oncology, 11, 93-102.

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Berke, E. M., Koepsell, T. D., Moudon, A. V., Hoskins, R. E. & Larson, E. B. (2007). Association of the built environment with physical activity and obesity in older persons. American Journal of Public Health, 97, 486-492.

Humpel, N., Owen, N. & Leslie, E. (2002). Environmental factors associated with adults’ participation in physical activity: A review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22, 188-199.

Powell, L. M., Slater, S., Mirtcheva, D., Bao, Y. & Chaloupka, F. J. (2007). Food store availability and neighborhood characteristics in the United States. Preventive Medicine, 44, 189-195.

Sallis, J. F., King, A. C., Sirard, J. R. & Albright, C. L. (2007). Perceived environmental predictors of physical activity over 6 months in adults: Activity Counseling Trial. Health Psychology, 26, 701-709.

Scott, M. (2005). A powerful theory and a paradox: Ecological psychologists after Barker. exit disclaimer Environment and Behavior, 37, 209-217.

Srinivasan, S., O’Fallon, L. R. & Dearry, A. (2003). Creating healthy communities, healthy homes, healthy people: Initiating a research agenda on the built environment and public health. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 1446-1450.

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Illness Representations

Cooper, A., Lloyd, G., Weinman, J. and Jackson, G. (1999). Why patients do not attend cardiac rehabilitation: role of intentions and illness beliefs. Heart, 82 234-236.

Grunfeld, E. A., Hunter, M. S., Ramirez, A. J. & Richards, M. A. (2003). Perceptions of breast cancer across the lifespan. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 54, 141-146.

Lau, R.R., & Hartman, K.A. (1983). Common sense representations of common illnesses. Health Psychology, 2, 167-185.

Petrie, K. J., Cameron, L. D., Ellis, C. J., Buick, D. & Weinman, J. (2002). Changing illness perceptions after myocardial infarction: An early intervention randomized controlled trial. Psychosomatic Medicine 64, 580-586.

Petrie, K. J., Weinman, J., Sharpe, N., & Buckley, J. (1996). Role of patients' view of their illness in predicting return to work and functioning after myocardial infarction: longitudinal study. British Medical Journal, 312, 1191-1194.

Rees, G., Fry A., Cull A, & Sutton, S. (2004). Illness perceptions and distress in women at increased risk of breast cancer. exit disclaimer Psychology and Health, 19, 749-765.

Meyer, D., Leventhal, H., & Guttman, M. (1985). Common-sense models of illness: The example of hypertension. Health Psychology, 4, 115-135.

Leventhal, H., Diefenbach, M., & Leventhal, E.A. (1992). Illness cognition: Using common sense to understand treatment adherence and affect cognition interactions. exit disclaimer Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6, 143-163.

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Implementation Intentions

Armitage, C. J. (2007). Efficacy of a brief worksite intervention to reduce smoking: The roles of behavioral and implementation intentions. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12, 376-390.

Gollwitzer, P. M. (1996). The volitional benefits of planning. exit disclaimer In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.). The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 287-312). New York: Guilford.

Gollwitzer, P. M. (1999). Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. exit disclaimer American Psychologist, 54, 493-503.

Rutter, D. R., Steadman, L. & Quine, L. (2006). An implementation intentions intervention to increase uptake of mammography. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 127-134.

Sheeran, P. & Orbell, S. (2000). Using implementation intentions to increase attendance for cervical cancer screening. Health Psychology, 19, 283-289.

Steadman, L. & Quine, L. (2004). Encouraging young males to perform testicular self-examination: A simple, but effective, implementation intentions intervention. British Journal of Health Psychology, 9, 479-487.

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Intention, Expectation, and Willingness

Gibbons, F.X., Gerrard, M., Blanton, H., & Russell, D.W. (1998). Reasoned action and social reaction: Willingness and intention as independent predictors of health risk. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1164-1181.

Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X., Stock, M.L., Vande Lune, L.S. & Cleveland, M.J., (2005). Images of smokers and willingness to smoke among African American pre-adolescents: An application of the prototype/willingness model of adolescent health risk behavior to smoking initiation. Pediatric Psychology, 30, 305-318.

Godin, G., Gagné, C., Maziade, J., Moreault, L., Beaulieu, D., & Morel, S. (2001). Breast cancer: The intention to have a mammography and a clinical breast exam - application of the theory of planned behavior. exit disclaimer Psychology and Health, 16, 423-441.

Hill, G. J., Shriver, B. J., & Arnett, D. B. (2006). Examining intentions to use CoQ10 amongst breast cancer patients. American Journal of Health Behavior, 30, 313-321.

Rah, J. H., Hasler, C. M., Painter, J. E., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. M. (2004). Applying the theory of planned behavior to women's behavioral attitudes on and consumption of soy products. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 36, 238-244.

Rivis, A., Sheeran, P., & Armitage, C.J. (2006). Augmenting the theory of planned behaviour with the prototype/willingness model: Predictive validity of actor versus abstainer prototypes for adolescents' health-protective and health-risk intentions. British Journal of Health Psychology, 11, 483-500.

Steadman, L., & Rutter, D. R. (2004). Belief importance and the theory of planned behaviour: Comparing modal and ranked modal beliefs in predicting attendance at breast screening. British Journal of Health Psychology, 9, 447-463.

van Empelen, P., & Kok, G. (2006). Condom use in steady and casual sexual relationships: planning, preparation and willingness to take risks among adolescents. Psychology and Health, 21, 165-181.

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Normative Beliefs

Finlay, K. A., Trafimow, D., & Moroi, E. (1999). The importance of subjective norms on intentions to perform health behaviors. exit disclaimer Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 2381-2393.

Olds, R. S., Thombs, D. L., & Tomasek, J. R. (2005). Relations between normative beliefs and initiation intentions toward cigarette, alcohol and marijuana. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 75.e7-75.e13.

Sayeed, S. Fishbein, M. Hornik, R. Cappella, J. & Ahern, R. K. (2005). Adolescent marijuana use intentions: Using theory to plan an intervention. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 12, 19-34.

Steadman, L. Rutter, D. R., & Field, S. (2002). Individually elicited versus modal normative beliefs in predicting attendance at breast screening: Examining the role of belief salience in the Theory of Planned Behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 317-330.

Trafimow, D. (1994). Predicting intentions to use a condom from perceptions of normative pressure and confidence in those perceptions. exit disclaimer Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 2151-2163.

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Optimistic Bias

Clarke, V. A., Lovegrove, H., Williams, A., & Machperson, M. (2000). Unrealistic optimism and the Health Belief Model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 23, 367-376.

McMath, B. F. & Prentice-Dunn, S. (2005). Protection motivation theory and skin cancer risk: The role of individual differences in responses to persuasive appeals. exit disclaimer (PDF) Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35, 621-643.

Weinstein, N. D. (1980). Unrealistic optimism about future life events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 806-820.

Weinstein, N. D., & Klein, W. M. (1995). Resistance of personal risk perceptions to debiasing interventions. Health Psychology, 14, 132-140.

Weinstein, N.D., & Lyon, J. E. (1999). Mindset, optimistic bias about personal risk and health-protective behaviour. exit disclaimer British Journal of Health Psychology, 4,289-300.

Weinstein, N. D., Marcus, S. E., & Moser, R. P. (2005). Smokers' unrealistic optimism about their risk. Tobacco Control, 14, 55-59.

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Perceived Benefits

Fang, C. Y., Miller, S. M., Malick, J., Babb, J., Engstrom, P. F., & Daly, M. B. (2003). Psychosocial correlates of intention to undergo prophylactic oophorectomy among women with a family history of ovarian cancer. Preventive Medicine, 37, 424-431.

Hay, J. L., Ford, J. S., Klein, D., Primavera, L. H., Buckley, T. R., Stein, T. R., Shike, M., & Ostroff, J. S. (2003). Adherence to colorectal cancer screening in mammography-adherent older women. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 26, 553-576.

Manne, S., Markowitz, A., Winawer, S. Guillem, J. Meropol, N. J., Haller, D., Jandorf, L., Rakowski, W., Babb, J., & Duncan, T. (2003). Understanding intention to undergo colonoscopy among intermediate-risk siblings of colorectal cancer patients: A test of a mediational model. Preventive Medicine, 36, 71-84.

Schnoll, R. A., Rothman, R. L., Newman, H., Lerman, C., Miller, S. M., Movsas, B., Sherman, E., Ridge, J. A., Unger, M., & Langer, C. (2004). Characteristics of cancer patients entering a smoking cessation program and correlates of quit motivation: Implications for the development of tobacco control programs for cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology, 13, 346-358.

Perceived Control

Andrykowski, M. A., Beacham, A. O., Schmidt, J. E., & Harper, F. W. K. (2006). Application of the theory of planned behavior to understand intentions to engage in physical and psychosocial health behaviors after cancer diagnosis. Psycho-Oncology, 15, 759-771.

Champion, V. L. (1999). Revised susceptibility, benefits, and barriers scale for mammography screening. Research in Nursing & Health, 22, 341-348.

Rakowski, W., Clark, M. A., Pearlman, D. N., Ehrich, B., Rimer, B. K., Goldstein, M. G., Dube, C.E., & Woolverton, H., 3rd. (1997). Integrating pros and cons for mammography and Pap testing: extending the construct of decisional balance to two behaviors. Preventative Medicine, 26, 664-673.

Rowe, J. L., Montgomery, G. H., Duberstein, P. R. & Bovbjerg, D. H. (2005). Health locus of control and perceived risk for breast cancer in healthy women. Behavioral Medicine, 31, 33-40.

Skinner, C. S., Champion, V. L., Gonin, R., & Hanna, M. (1997). Do perceived barriers and benefits vary by mammography stage? exit disclaimer Psychology, Health & Medicine, 2, 65-75.

Williams-Piehota, P., Schneider, T. R., Pizarro, J., Mowad, L. & Salovey, P. (2004). Matching health messages to health locus of control beliefs for promoting mammography utilization. Psychology and Health, 19, 407-423.

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Perceived Severity

Decruyenaere, M., Evers-Kiebooms, G., Welkenhuysen, M., Denayer, L. & Claes, E. (2000). Cognitive representations of breast cancer, emotional distress and preventive health behavior: A theoretical perspective. Psycho-oncology, 9, 528-536.

Fishbein, M., Triandis, H. C., Kanfer, F. H., Becker, M., Middlestadt, S. E. & Eichler, A. (2001). Factors influencing behavior and behavior change. exit disclaimer In Handbook of Health Psychology, (ed. A Baum, T. A. Revenson and J. E. Singer), pp. 3-16. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers: Mahwah, NJ, US.

Janz, N. K. & Becker, M. H. (1984). The Health Belief Model: A decade later. Health Education Quarterly, 11, 1-47.

Rosenstock, I. M. (1974). Historical origins of the health belief model. exit disclaimer Health Education Monographs, 2, 1-8.

Weinstein, N. D. (2000). Perceived probability, perceived severity, and health-protective behavior. Health Psychology, 19, 65-74.

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Perceived Vulnerability

Azzarello, L. M., Dessureault, S., & Jacobsen, P. B. (2006). Sun-protective behavior among individuals with a family history of melanoma. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 15, 142-145.

Gerrard, M., Gibbons F.X., & Bushman, B.J. (1996). The relation between perceived vulnerability to HIV and precautionary sexual behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 390-409.

Halpern-Felsher, B. L., Biehl, M., Kropp, R. Y., Rubinstein, M. L. (2004). Perceived risks and benefits of smoking: Differences among adolescents with different smoking experiences and intentions. Preventive Medicine, 39, 559-567.

Harris, P. R., & Napper, L. (2005). Self-affirmation and the biased processing of threatening health-risk information. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1250-1263.

Kreuter, M.W. & Strecher, V.J. (1995). Changing inaccurate perceptions of health risk: Results from a randomized Trial. Health Psychology, 14, 56-63.

Weinstein, N.D. (1984). Why it won't happen to me: Perceptions of risk factors and susceptibility. Health Psychology, 19, 431-457.


Champion, V., Skinner, C. S., & Menon, U. (2005). Development of a self-efficacy scale for mammography. Research in Nursing & Health, 28, 329-336.

Dijkstra, A., & de Vries, H. (2000). Self-efficacy expectations with regard to different tasks in smoking cessation. exit disclaimer Psychology & Health, 15, 501-511.

Dzewaltowski, D. A., Noble, J. M., & Shaw, J. M. (1990). Physical activity participation: Social cognitive theory versus the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. exit disclaimer Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 12, 388-405.

Luszczynska, A. (2004). Change in breast self-examination behavior: Effects of intervention on enhancing self-efficacy. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 11, 95-103.:

Luszczynska, A., & Schwarzer, R. (2003). Planning and self-efficacy in the adoption and maintenance of breast self-examination: A longitudinal study on self-regulatory cognitions. exit disclaimer Psychology & Health, 18, 93-108.

Schwarzer, R., Boehmer, S., Luszczynska, A. Mohamed, N., & Knoll, N. (2005). Dispositional self-efficacy as a personal resource factor in coping after surgery. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 807-818.

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Self-Reported Behavior

Curran, S. L., Beacham, A. O. & Andrykowski, M. A. (2004). Ecological momentary assessment of fatigue following breast cancer treatment. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27, 425-444.

Friedman, W. J. (1993). Memory for time of past events. exit disclaimer Psychological Bulletin, 113, 44-66.

Hall, H. I., Van Den Eeden, S. K., Tolsma, D. D., Rardin, K., Thompson, T., Sinclair, A. H., et al. (2004). Testing for prostate and colorectal cancer: Comparison of self-report and medical record audit. Preventive Medicine, 39, 27-35.

Newell, S. A., Girgis, A., Sanson-Fisher, R. W. & Savolainen, N. J. (1999). The accuracy of self-reported health behaviors and risk factors relating to cancer and cardiovascular disease in the general population: A critical review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 17, 211-229.

Smyth, J. M. & Stone, A. A. (2003). Ecological Momentary Assessment research in behavioral medicine. exit disclaimer Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 35-52.

Stone, A. A. & Shiffman, S. S. (1994). Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in behavioral medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 199-202.

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Social Influence

Evans, N., Farkas, A., Gilpin, E., Berry, C., & Pierce, J. P. (1995). Influence of tobacco marketing and exposure to smokers on adolescent susceptibility to smoking. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 87, 1538-1545.

Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Vande Lune, L. S., Wills, T. A., Brody, G., & Conger, R. D. (2004). Context and cognitions: Environmental risk, social influence, and adolescent substance use. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1048-1061.

Jaccard, J., Blanton, H., & Dodge, T. (2005). Peer influences on risk behavior: An analysis of the effects of a close friend. Developmental Psychology, 41, 135-147.

Mosbach, P., & Leventhal, H. (1988). Peer group identification and smoking: Implications for intervention. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 238-245.

Simons-Morton, B., Chen, R., Abroms, L., & Haynie, D. L. (2004). Latent growth curve analyses of peer and parent influences on smoking progression among early adolescents. Health Psychology, 23, 612-621.

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Social Support

Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Skoner, D. P., Rabin, B. S., & Gwaltnery, J. M. Jr. (1997). Social ties and susceptibility to the common cold. Journal of the American Medical Association, 277, 1940-1944.

Cohen, S. (1988). Psychosocial models of the role of social support in the etiology of physical disease. Health Psychology, 7, 269-297.

Devine, D., Parker, P. A., Fouladi, R. T., & Cohen, L. (2003). The association between social support, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and adjustment following an experimental cancer treatment. Psycho-Oncology, 12, 453-462.

House, J.S., Landis, K.R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540-545.

Reynolds, J. S., & Perrin, N. A. (2004). Mismatches in social support and psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer. Health Psychology, 23, 425-430.

Sapp, A. L., Trentham-Dietz, A., Newcomb, P. A., Hampton, J. M., Moinpour, C. M., & Remington, P. L. (2003). Social networks and quality of life among female long-term colorectal cancer survivors. Cancer, 98, 1749-1758.

Wagner, C. D., Bigatti, S. M., & Storniolo, A. M. (2006). Quality of life of husbands of women with breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 15, 109-120.

Wills, T. A., & Filer, M. (2000). Social networks and social support. In A. Baum & T. Revenson (Eds.), Handbook of Health Psychology (pp. 209 234). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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Bandura, A. (1997). The anatomy of stages. American Journal of Health Promotion, 12, 8-10.

Costanza, M. E., Luckmann, R., Stoddard, A. M., Avrunin, J. S., White, M. J., Stark, J. R., et al. (2005). Applying a stage model of behavior change to colon cancer screening. Preventive Medicine, 41, 707-719.

DiClemente, C. C., Prochaska, J. O., Fairhurst, S. K., Velicer, W. F., Velasquez, M. M. & Rossi, J. S. (1991). The process of smoking cessation: An analysis of precontemplation, contemplation, and preparation stages of change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 295-304.

Herzog, T. A. & Blagg, C. O. (2007). Are most precontemplators contemplating smoking cessation? Assessing the validity of the stages of change. Health Psychology, 26, 222-231.

Maxwell, C. J., Onysko, J., Bancej, C. M., Nichol, M. & Rakowski, W. (2006). The distribution and predictive validity of the stages of change for mammography adoption among Canadian women. Preventive Medicine, 43, 171-177.

Prochaska, J. O., Velicer, W. F., Redding, C., Rossi, J. S., Goldstein, M., DePue, J., et al. (2005). Stage-based expert systems to guide a population of primary care patients to quit smoking, eat healthier, prevent skin cancer, and receive regular mammograms. Preventive Medicine, 41, 406-416.

Weinstein, N. D., Rothman, A. J., & Sutton, S. R. (1998). Stage theories of health behavior: Conceptual and methodological issues. Health Psychology, 17, 290-299.

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Bowen, D. J., Helmes, A., Powers, D., Andersen, M. R., Burke, W., McTiernan, A., & Durfy, S. (2003). Predicting breast cancer screening intentions and behavior with emotion and cognition. exit disclaimer Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 22, 213-232.

Dijkstra, A., & Brosschot, J. (2003) Worry about health in smoking behaviour change. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 1081-1092.

Kubzansky, L.D., Kawachi, I., Spiro, III, A., Weiss, S.T., Vokonas, P.S., & Sparrow, D. (1997). Is worrying bad for your heart? A prospective study of worry and coronary heart disease in the Normative Aging Study. Circulation, 95, 818-824.

Lerman, C., Schwartz, M.D., Lin, T.H., Hughes, C., Narod, S., & Lynch, H.T. (1997). The influence of psychological distress on use of genetic testing for cancer risk. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 414-420.

Mullens, A. B., McCaul, K. D., Erickson, S. C., & Sandgren, A. K. (2004). Coping after cancer: Risk perceptions, worry, and health behaviors among colorectal cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 13, 367-376.

Schwartz, M., Lerman, C., Daly, M., Audrain, J., Masny, A., & Griffith, K. (1995). Utilization of ovarian cancer screening by women at increased risk. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 4, 269-273.

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