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A study explored girls' emerging attitudes toward breast care and breast self-exam (BSE) and the extent to which girls had given thought to these issues. Analyses focused specifically on individual differences related to age, stage of breast development, perceived normalcy of breast development, and body image. The sample consisted of 43 white, middle-class girls in grades 5 through 9. All participants completed measures of pubertal development and body image and completed an attitude questionnaire. Results indicated that attitudes toward breast care and BSE were generally positive. Sixty-one percent of the participants indicated that they would allow a physician to examine their breasts, and 60 percent indicated intent to practice BSE as adults. Age was positively associated with knowledge of BSE, having thought about issues related to breast care, and general acceptance of breast care. Both actual stage of breast development and perceived normalcy of breast development were positively related to having thought about issues related to breast care. Affective feelings about the body were not related to either having thought about breast care or being accepting of care. Contains four references. (Author/HTH)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Age Differences, Body Image, Cancer, Child Health, Females, Individual Differences, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Physical Development, Preadolescents, Puberty, Student Attitudes

Autor: Hadranyi, B. T.


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