Background: Healthy dietary behaviors are critical strategies for cancer control. Despite this, many African Americans do not meet the recommended guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake. To develop effective cancer control interventions for African Americans, it is first necessary to understand within group variation in motivations for making dietary behavior changes and identify socioeconomic, social, and clinical factors that have significant independent associations with these motivations.

Objectives: To characterize motivations for making dietary changes among African Americans and to identify socioeconomic, social, and clinical factors having significant independent associations with these intrinsic and extrinsic motivations among African American adults (n=530).

Results: The mean (SD) level for intrinsic motivation was 26.5 (3.5) whereas the mean (SD) level for extrinsic motivation was 16.1 (4.8). Increasing age (Beta=0.03, p=0.03) and membership in at least one community organization (Beta=1.20, p=0.0003) had significant independent associations in the regression model for intrinsic motivation (n=479, F=5.97, p=0.0001). Lower incomes (Beta=-1.10, p=0.02) and age (Beta=0.06, p=0.006) had significant independent associations with extrinsic motivation. None of the clinical factors were associated significantly with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Conclusions: African Americans may be motivated to make dietary changes for cancer control because of intrinsic motivations. Different variables had significant independent associations with intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to make dietary changes among African Americans. It may be important to use alternative strategies to enhance these motivations as part of cancer control interventions that are developed for these individuals.

Citation Format: Melanie S. Jefferson, Vanessa Briggs, Ernestine Delmoor, LaShanta Rice, Jerry Johnson, Chanita Hughes-Halbert. Motivation for cancer control changes among African Americans. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Seventh AACR Conference on The Science of Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; Nov 9-12, 2014; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015;24(10 Suppl):Abstract nr B15.