Date of Award

4-1-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Melvin Williams, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct community-based formative research to explore the health care seeking behaviors of low income African American men. Systems Theory, with an ecological perspective, combined with the Health Belief Model was the framework used to guide the assessment to identify opportunities for social work practice in public health, that can contribute to the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Sixty-seven African American men in Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, Dallas, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were interviewed during street-based encounters. The researcher found that a majority of the African American men valued their health, were concerned about their health status, and practiced health care seeking behaviors. Economic issues proved to be the primary barriers to health care seeking behaviors. Findings suggest that Systems Theory, with an ecological perspective, combined with the Health Belief Model is a useful framework for understanding and assessing the health care seeking behavior of African American men. The practice implications for social work in public health that emerged in the study are in the areas of clinical practice, community practice, and policy practice.

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