Masculinity, Racism, Social Support, and Colorectal Cancer Screening Uptake Among African American Men: A Systematic Review

Charles R. Rogers, Jamie A. Mitchell, Gabriel J. Franta, Margaret J. Foster, Deirdre Shires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is highly preventable when CRC screening is utilized, yet CRC screening completion among African American men is relatively low and their mortality rates remain 50% higher juxtaposed to their White counterparts. Since a growing body of literature indicates masculinity, racism, and social support each have strong influences on CRC screening uptake, this systematic review examined the connections between these three sociocultural factors and CRC screening uptake among African American men. Potential studies were retrieved from MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and PsycINFO. Cited reference searching for the final sample was employed to identify and assess additional studies for inclusion using Scopus. The methodological quality of the reviewed evidence was also evaluated. Nineteen studies met inclusion/exclusion criteria. Thirteen studies employed nonexperimental research designs; a quasi-experimental design was present in four, and two utilized experimental designs. Studies were published between 2000 and 2014; the majority between 2009 and 2013. Social support was most frequently addressed (84%) while masculinity and racism were equally studied with paucity (11%) for their influence on CRC screening. After evaluating conceptual and methodological characteristics of the studies, 42% fell below average in quality and rigor. The need for increased attention to the sociocultural correlates of CRC screening for African American men are highlighted in this systematic review, and important recommendations for research and practice are provided. Alongside a call for more rigorous research, further research examining the influence of masculinity and racism on CRC screening completion among African American men is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1486-1500
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number R25CA163184 (Drs. Jean Forster and Kola Okuyemi, Co-PIs) and the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research via the National Institute on Aging at the NIH under Award Number 5P30 AG015281 (Drs. Peter Lichtenberg and James Jackson, Co-PIs).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • African Americans
  • colonic neoplasms
  • early detection of cancer
  • minority health
  • review


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