Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Philip Gasquoine

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristin Croyle

Third Advisor

Dr. Grant Benham


The Pap smear is a diagnostic screening test that detects abnormal cell growth, which may lead to cervical cancer. Pap smears are performed at a consistently lower frequency among Hispanic than non-Hispanic American White women, potentially contributing to a 70% higher rate of cervical cancer in Hispanic Americans. This study examined possible predictors of Pap smear utilization among 165 Mexican American female college students aged 18 to 30 attending the University of Texas-Pan American situated near Texas’s United States – Mexico border. Significant predictors were: recommendation by a health care professional; sexual activity; mother’s educational level; and external locus of control based on powerful others. Non-significant predictors were: access to health care; mother’s Pap smear utilization; acculturation; internal locus of control; and chance.


Copyright 2010 Sylvia Morales. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American