Effects of Need for Cognitive Closure and Age on Medical-Related Beliefs of African Americans

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Authors:
Jennifer Rae Myers, Howard University, USA
Email: Jennifer.myers@bison.howard.edu
Published: May 12, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.1.04

Citation: Myers, J. R. (2019). Effects of Need for Cognitive Closure and Age on Medical-Related Beliefs of African Americans. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.1.04


Abstract

Given the accessibility to medical resources in urban areas, one possible barrier to African Americans’ participation in clinical research and medical services is their medical-related beliefs. Such beliefs may partially explain various health disparities in the African American community – including HIV. However, the dynamic of psychosocial and demographic factors underlying these beliefs are less understood. Forty-nine urban-residing African Americans completed the Need for Cognitive Closure Scale (NFCS), the Medical Mistrust Index (MMI), and a HIV conspiracy belief questionnaire to determine the differences among these factors. While there was no significant interaction between NFCC and age on medical mistrust towards healthcare organizations, there was a significant interaction between NFCC and age on HIV conspiracy beliefs. Results suggest there may be an association between NFCC and the level of endorsement in HIV conspiracy beliefs among young urban African Americans. Future studies should examine this relationship within a larger population to determine possible strategies for decreasing such beliefs among this vulnerable population.

Keywords

African Americans, need for cognitive closure, medical beliefs, medical mistrust, HIV