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The Strength of Bridging Social Capital: The Case Study of Normative Behavior, Latinas, and Cervical Cancer

Mon, May 29, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 3, Aqua 303

Abstract

Informed by the theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) and ego-network analysis, the present study outlines the mechanisms that contribute to the creation and maintenance of social norms and their subsequent behavioral outcomes. By analyzing different patterns of normative influence associated with cervical cancer detection among Latinas (N = 982), the study concludes that network brokerage provides individuals with non-redundant information, helps resist normative pressure, and contributes to efficacy beliefs, promoting a more informed decision-making. Conversely, network closure perpetuates conformity, increases the influence of social norms, and induces less confidence in individuals’ ability to comply with cervical cancer screening, subjecting Latinas to unnecessary health risks. Overall, the results suggest that the study of normative influence should go hand in hand with social network analysis, trying to shed a light on the distinct social structures and communication practices that can either reinforce or challenge norms.

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