Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Health Communication





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

December 2015


Substantial breast and cervical cancer disparities exist in the United States, particularly among African American women with low social economic status. There is considerable potential for discussions about cancer prevention between mothers and daughters. However, upward communication, from child to parent, remains a relatively novel research area, and it remains unclear how receptive mothers would be to messages from their daughter about cancer, a topic that may be considered culturally inappropriate for daughters to initiate. In this study, we simulated cancer message delivery to daughters and then conducted direct observation of daughters as they recalled and shared the message with their mother or female elder. We found that daughters were able to successfully recall and deliver a cancer appeal to their mother and mothers were generally receptive to this message. Not only did mothers listen to their daughters’ appeals, but also daughters’ knowledge of cancer was considerably improved by the opportunity to educate her female elder. Moreover, daughters’ nonverbal communication suggested a surprisingly relaxed demeanor. The potential of young people to impact the screening behavior of their female elders is very promising in terms of reducing cancer disparities.


MOSAVEL, M., & PORTS, K. A. (2015). Upward Communication About Cancer Screening—Adolescent Daughter to Mother. Journal of Health Communication, 20(6), 680–686.

Is Part Of

VCU Social and Behavioral Health Publications