Predicting interpersonal cancer talk among Black women in the United States following Aretha Franklin’s death: The role of network-level factors

Diane B. Francis, Andrew Pilny, Carina M. Zelaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Celebrity announcements of diagnoses or deaths often generate talk. In turn, talk can spur health-related behaviors. Yet, very few studies have examined interpersonal talk about cancer as an outcome of celebrity announcements about health. Furthermore, questions remain about the theoretical predictors of such interpersonal communication. The present study investigated individual and network-level factors associated with interpersonal talk about cancer among Black women following the death of Aretha Franklin. Findings from a cross-sectional survey (N = 239) indicated that more than 40% of women talked about cancer, and more than half expressed intentions to talk about cancer with their family and friends. Network-level factors (health mavenism, network heterogeneity) were significantly associated with actual and intended interpersonal cancer talk. Of the individual-level predictors, emotional reactions were significantly related to actual and intended interpersonal communication. Understanding theoretical predictors of interpersonal cancer talk could lead to better structurally centered capacity-building strategies to mobilize peer-to-peer sharing among network-engaged Black women.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 National Communication Association.

Keywords

  • African American
  • Health communication
  • cancer health disparities
  • interpersonal communication
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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