Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Bernice Kennedy


Preventive health care is effective in reducing both infectious diseases and chronic conditions among the elderly. Despite efforts to prevent or decrease the risk of illness, unmarried men are less likely to receive selected preventive services compared to married men. The purpose of this cross-sectional survey was to describe disease prevention attitudes and behaviors of retired, unmarried, male baby boomers residing in Harlingen, Texas. Further, the study examined the effects of socioeconomic status on disease prevention attitudes and behaviors. The health belief theory framed the study. A validated questionnaire collected disease prevention attitudes, behaviors, and sociodemographic characteristics data. Data inquiry included ANOVA, multiple regression and moderation analysis. The findings did not show any differences in disease prevention attitudes and behaviors among retired, unmarried male boomers. Multiple linear regression indicated that the socioeconomic factors explained 24% of the variance in disease prevention behaviors (p = .001). Moderation analysis showed that 29% of the variability in the dependent variable could be explained by the independent variables and interaction terms. The only significant predictor was education, p= .002); none of the interaction

terms were significant. Positive social change from the study is the possible increase in disease prevention behavior among the retired, unmarried male baby with a low level of education. The study results may help in developing policies that would target education barriers and raise awareness of disease prevention behavior among the retired, unmarried male baby boomers.